My "happy place" at home is a picture of me on my front porch, legs propped, either reading, writing, or listening to music. You can imagine, then, how easily a little unexpected chaos could disturb this place of rest. As I write this, I'm surrounded by the remains of dead wasps and reflecting on the six-part series of the war I waged to maintain this happy place.
I love the idea of a microcosm: "a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger." They're helpful, just like Jesus and parables or school teachers and analogies. They let us understand something greater. I hope much of what I write about accomplishes that.
So back to my wasp saga...
Episode 1: Beautiful morning. Coffee in hand. Cool breeze blowing, despite it being August. Wasp flies by, and I don't think much about it. Two sips of coffee in, out of nowhere, wasp takes a dive at my ankle and stings. I probably said something PG-13 at that point and went inside angrily.
Episode 2: When I was first stung, the pain and anger distracted me from the fact that I should find the source. The second time I went back to the patio, I had enough wits about me to check under the table. What did I find? A nest of about 25 wasps taking an afternoon nap. I had literally been sitting on top of this for who knows how long.
Episode 3: I'm back with a vengeance (wasp spray) and ready to decimate the village. No mercy was shown.
Episode 4: Another beautiful morning with my coffee. Two steps outside, stung again (same foot). Apparently some of the wasps were out of town during the first onslaught. Commence Round 2 of Decimation.
Episode 5: Saturday morning. I'm peaking before I go outside. Coast is clear. Two sips into my coffee and what do I see? A new nest on the opposite side of the porch. Round 3 of Decimation. Back to my coffee.
Episode 6: Early Sunday morning. The vacationers of Nest 2 are back. Round 4 of Decimation. Back to my coffee.
Why do I tell this seemingly arbitrary story about wasps? One, minor injuries can be hilarious. Two, it's a microcosm.
You learn a lot about who you are when you're ambushed, when our happy place, the little worlds we create, the lives we've built...are interrupted.
We learn in time what to look for, where the source of the problem is, how to deal with it. The threats become more obvious. We find ways to maintain our happiness and the good things in our life, despite the challenges that continue to attack.
I could stay inside and guarantee no more stings, but I claim this spot on my porch. We have to fight for joy and understand the process takes time and is worth the struggle...time and time again.