Sometimes life can be simple, commonplace or even a little bit repetitive, but that’s okay. With no funerals, weddings, near car accidents or anything else unusual or remarkable this past week, I found myself in the realm of ordinary. Ordinary is so invigorating now and then. Simple days allow us time to regroup, settle and just be after hectic days are past.
When my days are less harried I like to spend time in the garden. There is something therapeutic about digging in the dirt with the smell of fresh earth filling your nostrils. Gardening makes me feel closer to my real self and closer to God. It’s still an amazing miracle to me how a tiny seed can sprout and grow into a large plant or tree. Working with plants is evidence to me of a divine Creator who loves us and cares for us by organizing such a wonderful place for us to live.
Most of the time gardening is as I described above, but sometimes it’s more like a battlefield. Garden pests wreak havoc sometimes. As I was peacefully gardening these last few days I thought of a former gory battle with garden pests.
We had just harvested our sweet potatoes and in the process found hundreds of snails and slugs hiding in the shade under the leaves and under the coconut husks we had used to border our sweet potato patch. These weren’t just the cute little garden snails but they were the invasive species of African Snails that had decimated my previous pepper and cabbage crops. Some of these snails were huge. I found one that measured from the base of my thumb to the base of my pinky finger, the diagonal width of my palm.
I took the biggest rock I could find and started smashing snails like a possessed person. I discovered their nurseries and egg clutches and smashed them all. I stopped counting at two hundred snails and never even started counting the slugs. I just went on a murderous frenzy, smashing and crushing my enemies.
Before I was half done the flies were buzzing loudly and the sun had risen enough to make it very hot! Did this stop me? Are you kidding? I was taking revenge for all my poor defenseless pepper plants and cabbages.
I confess this murderous streak in me is most definitely not hereditary. I remember my mother was always so kind to animals, even insects. When a stray wasp or bee got into the house she would have one of us kids get a cup and paper plate to catch the poor thing in and release it outside. I am usually of the philosophy that if it is in my house then it is fair game to be sprayed or squashed, but if it is outside I won’t hurt it. But, snails and slugs are another story.
While on my murder spree I had discarded my shoes with reckless abandon and cared only for the next kill. I tell you I was possessed. When I could find no more snails I stood up from my crouching position to hunt somewhere else and stepped right onto the squishy remains of the largest snail. Its juices splattered all over my feet, and oozed up between my toes. Hopping on one foot I made it to the hose to wash my feet, but the snail was determined to stay stuck to me.
“Get off you sticky piece of goo!” I grumbled.
My husband, with his impeccable sense of timing, walks around the back of the house and sees me hopping about, spraying water from the hose everywhere but where I needed it, all the time mumbling and grumbling.
“Murder is a messy business,” he quips and strolls inside the house leaving me to wrestle with the snail goo still lingering on my foot. I smeared my foot on the grass. Why didn’t I just do that in the first place? Then, just to make sure no slug or snail escaped my wrath, I sprinkled Slug Out all around my new pepper seedlings.
That night I dreamed of huge killer slugs and snails dragging me off to snail jail and banging me on the head with rocks. Not really, I slept like a baby knowing that my garden was a lot safer than it had been the day before.
So whether your simple, ordinary days stay that way and are opportunities for you to feel closer to your Heavenly Father, or they entail something a little messier, enjoy them. Embrace each day you are given after all they are numbered. Thank God for the good and the bad, for the peace and the chaos of life, and even for the snails.