Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 27: More Chomped, Wasps, Ran Like Hell

Anything can happen in any direction; the world is more chomped than I'd dreamed. 

Dillard learns that nature is dangerous during Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.  There's beauty in nature--waterfalls and cocoons and exaltations of larks.  There's also pain and death--rattlesnakes and floods and thunderstorms.  Dillard wasn't expecting to find so much peril in all the wonder.

Tonight, my son and I discovered a wasp nest.  Actually, it was more like a wasp condominium complex clinging to a shed in my parents' backyard.  Fat angry tenants buzzing in and out.  We stood and watched the show from a distance.

I kept telling my son, "Not too close, not too close."  I explained to him that wasps were sort of like rattlesnakes.  "There's venom in their stingers," I said.  My son nodded and took a step back.

The shed is made of corrugated metal.  It's been standing on the same patch of cement since I was a kid.  The wasps kept charging in and out of the nest.  I wanted to show my son something amazing.  Something he wouldn't forget.  I pulled him away from the shed.

"Watch this," I said.

I walked forward, got within a couple feet of the nest.  I reached up, made a fist, slammed it against the metal wall of the shed several times, and ran.

The wasps boiled out of the nest in an fevered cloud.  I could hear them buzzing like an overheated vacuum cleaner.  My son watched with eyes as big as fists.  They flooded and swarmed around their gray paper hideout.  It wasn't a beautiful sight, but it was impressive.  Like a forest fire or a sleeping grizzly.  There was the danger and wonder.

Eventually, one of the wasps came diving toward us, and my son screamed like a girl and ran like hell.  I wasn't far behind him.  When I was a kid, I fell into a nest of yellow jackets.  Got stung over twenty times.  I remember feeling like I was on fire.

Before my son fell asleep tonight, I said to him, "Stay away from those wasps, okay?"  He nodded and patted my cheek.  I watched him drift into deep, sleeping breaths.

Saint Marty knows that nature can be beautiful and dangerous.  Saint Marty's son knows it, too.  There are rainbows and wasps everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, have you ever thought that part of what happens in life is an angel somewhere slamming his hand against your life, just to see what you do?