Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grasshoppers in the garden

I am all for nature. My kids and I spend more time watching the animals out our picture windows than we do watching TV. This, I hope, is a good thing. But I have a caveat about my love of the outdoors: all the little beings must stay out of my garden and house. When they don't, it's a call to action.

Last week, thousands of grasshoppers started popping up through the grass. More jumped into my garden, their mandibles munching busily on my tomatoes and baby spinach leaves. Like Laura, Mary, Ma and Pa (from the Little House on the Prairie series), I watched, helpless, while the pests chewed through my tender crops. And my hopes for fresh produce dwindled.

Worries are like those little grasshoppers; concerns about money and schedules find fertile ground in my head. The niggling thoughts scurry through my head, crawling over my well-laid plans, eating at the corners. Soon, not much is left but the slim stalk of hope.

But the grasshoppers don't have to win. I have knowledge. I have the Internet.

I make a list of positive events each day, nurturing my felicity as one does a seedling just pushing through the dark moist soil. Over time, the worries prey less and my blessings grow until they bloom, rich and heavy with fruit. And I continue to watch, taking stock daily. Inattention allows the pests of doubt to return, consuming my thoughts as surely as they eat my carrots.

Thank you to my family for their love and support. It's the nourishment I need.

And those grasshoppers don't stand a chance. Armed with my Neem oil, I sprayed them off the rest of my tomatoes.

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