Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Stirring Up a Hornet's Nest

This is NOT a hornet. This is a sweet little Bee Patrick (with big bro Evan)
We’ve all heard that saying, right? When someone instigates trouble, or adds fuel to a fire that is already burning. Hornets are some of nature’s nastiest creatures, bees with an attitude, bad bold bugs that actively dive bomb humans. They may not be disease transmitters like their fellow insect horror shows the mosquitoes, but their stings are doozies nonetheless. Disturbing, much less stirring up, a hornet’s nest is an activity to be avoided at all costs.

So we didn’t. Honest. Yet a hornet’s nest found us anyway early this morning, around 3 AM. Steve was restless and awake, reading, with his bedside light on. Well, the lamplight must have caught the fancy of a hornet who had escaped its abode right underneath our bedroom window, and found a way through a small hole in the screen. With zero warning, Harry the Hornet made a bee-line (sorry) for Stevo’s arm and went in for the kill. There was much shouting and leaping around on our part, as Harry darted all over the room. Yet, when Steve finally located something with which to smush the little stinker, it was nowhere to be found. Although I am a million times bigger than an insect, I am no match for one with a stinger. Hubby and I soon conceded defeat and decamped for the family room, hastily closing the bedroom door behind us.

Later, while I was at work, Steve leaned out the window (carefully) and sprayed the nest several times with Raid Flying Insect Killer. As a result, a bevy of poisoned bugs soon staggered from the nest, and plastered their dying bodies against our windows and doors. We still need to get rid of the nest itself, of course, but for now we feel pretty safe.  

These days it seems like waaaay too many folks are deliberate hornet’s nest stirrers, from the people of influence who appeal to the very worst in human nature, to the online trolls and websites inciting discord and spewing verbal garbage. There have always been times and places in our world (and in our souls) that are dark and ugly—and there are certainly times we need to take a metaphorical stick to these nests of evil in order to get rid of them. But when those nests are disturbed merely to enliven the haters, just to further polarize an already polarized society—well, that is unconscionable.

It is fairly easy to take down an actual hornet’s nest. It’s much harder to disable the angry, stinging words and actions taking place all around us right now. The solution may be slower than we’d like, but in the end, hopefully, more effective. Let’s overwhelm hate with love, even if it takes time (and it will). Set an ongoing example of kindness and caring. Refuse to take the toxic bait that’s meant to trap us in a quagmire.

And maybe someday, we’ll look around and realize that all the hornet’s nests are gone at last.

That is my prayer.

Not our hornet's nest. We were afraid to get that close!!

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