Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Balance

Everything in life has a counterbalance. I have a daily commute of fifty six miles or so, round trip. That is a lot of miles and a lot of greenhouse gases. The counterbalance is that on my official twenty six acres (unofficial thirty acres) I do not use herbicides, or pesticides, or allow hunting. I connect with the nature intelligences directly at Spirit Creek, and work in partnership with nature to bring as natural a balance as possible to the uses I personally have for the land. This is not crazy and the techniques are not difficult to learn. Anyone on the planet can work directly with the inherent natural intelligences that exist in every molecule of the physical world surrounding them. It requires only that you are willing to try, whether you believe or not.

I learned how to do this from Machaelle Small Wright, the co-creator of the Perelandra garden. Inspired by the successes in conscious gardening at Findhorn, Scotland, Wright established her own connection with nature, co-creating a beautiful garden, and oh so much more, on forty five acres of land in Virginia.

It is not magic but it is work. Sometimes it is a pain in the neck because once a segment of nature discovers it is no longer being actively warred upon, it floods into an area, hence my mice misadventures. This same resurgence happened with spiders. Every web building spider species in the area were happily draping the outside of my house in their huge webs, which became full of dead insects and dirt and twigs. My house looked like an abandoned witch's house. It was embarrassing and an eyesore. At one point I gave the spiders ample warning before power hosing the entire exterior of my home. I became impatient after two years with nature's timetable to re-establish a livable balance between the spiders and me. I hired a man to spray just the outside of my house to stop the spiders from their happy web celebrations. When I saw the exterminator deliberately douse a big garden spider with his poison, I felt very bad. It was no way to treat my natural partners. I had reneged on my side of the bargain. (There is a learning curve.)

The work I did with ticks and poison ivy was very easy in comparison to the work with mice and spiders. A one-time balancing process did the trick for the ticks. At one point the infestation of ticks around the house was so bad that I would find ticks on me after walking the five feet of sidewalk between the house and the truck. Even now, I must still use common sense about the ticks in the warm weather, but since the main balancing, I have had not a single tick bite, and only found one or two on my person. I still treat my dogs and my horses against ticks with powerful chemicals, but only because it is far easier and faster than doing all the balancing work and tweaking with nature. Once I retire, there will be time to work 100% naturally and do away with the need to poison the dog and the horses against the ticks entirely.

Believe it or not, all I had to do to balance the poison ivy was to clearly indicate the areas where poison ivy could not grow, and welcome it to live undisturbed wherever else it wanted to live. It does not grow in that area. Easy.

The mice are a different story. A combination of things contribute to the mice problem. They have been trapped and poisoned here since the first building was placed on this land. There is a long history of human genocide toward mice. They are naturally going to be attracted to a house in the woods, beside a creek. There is no way I can plug every hole into this old house. I have a lifelong issue of not setting personal boundaries very well and the mice breach my boundaries every year.

I also have not entirely dropped my adversarial attitude toward mice. Try as I might to regard them with neutral emotions, I actually kind of hate them. Well, no one can only "kind of hate" anything. I hate mice now. The only good mouse is a dead mouse in the physical space where I live. In fact, I am so over "look at the cute little mouse" that I was able to heartlessly drown them when I found them in the sticky traps. It is not fun, and I hate feeling them struggle, holding the traps under water with pliers, but I can not smash them to death. I can not free them from the traps to feed them to Duke. I refuse to let them die slowly in the traps. I want to find the perfect balance that keeps them out of my house. It will not happen until I can let go of my hate and anger toward them.

The mice are offering a mighty lesson to me. I know this because the reason we incarnate in this marvelous physical realm is to learn, to evolve, to work out karma and become wise (or not). The physical universe, the manifestation of the Creator's consciousness, responds forever and immediately to our need to evolve.

I am not sure what the balance between me and the mice is going to look like. Last year I was sure I had found it. I kept the snap traps set and baited with peanut butter, and the mice found their way into them immediately. Instantly dead mice do not give me a guilty conscience. But peanut butter lost its allure this year. The mice ignored the traps and happily ran amok in my house, so I escalated the war with sticky traps. I will not use the glue traps again because they are inhumane. It is unrealistic to expect no mice to ever get in the house. It is unrealistic to expect me to tolerate their presence in my own personal space. All I can do is to keep working toward balance. Nature is the best teacher in the entire universe.

Visit Perelandra here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once a year I do ties for the Mouse Mother (and a set for Iktomi) and ask each to keep their children where they will have plenty of food, but out of my home.

I know it sounds a bit odd, but I try to dispatch mice and spiders with dispassionate compassion while acknowledging their kinship with all that is (mitakuye oyas'in). I know that I am the intruder here.