I have an unreasoning fear of hornets. Don’t ask me why. I couldn’t tell you. I’m not afraid of being stung. Honey bees and bumblebees I find adorable. But hornets, well, they bring on some very girly screaming and shuddering. I have been known to abandon my young children in their strollers on the playground and run when one I hear the low drone of a yellow jacket.
Really, the hornets are the only blight on late summer for me. Mid August through to Hallowe’en is my favourite time of year. Mellow days, cool nights, blue skys, white puffy clouds. The fields are filled with golden rod and my favourite fall flower, the wild purple aster. Birds begin their wheeling and spinning, filling the air with black winged acrobatics as they gather for their migration to warmer climes. The squirrels are busy digging up my garden and littering my porch with walnut casings.
There are pumpkins and squash and melons. Everywhere you look the bounty of the earth is overflowing, in farmer’s markets, road side stalls, fall fairs. Children walk to school in hoodies and walk home in short sleeves. Frost greets us in the mornings and by late afternoon I see friends sipping coffees on outdoor patios wearing t-shirts and sandals.
Yes, I love this time of year. Except for the hornets. I think it’s the way they move. They hover, and buzz, and come right at you, with no fear. They smell, and dart, move away, come back, smell some more. They are not intimidated by my swatting them. Maybe that’s it, perhaps I am suspicious of anything one hundredth of my size that’s not afraid of me. What do they know that I don’t?
They get aggressive in the early fall. I am told it’s because they are mating now. You would think if they were mating they’d show less interest in me and more in other hornets. But alas, each walk to and from school with my children has become an obstacle course…don’t get too close to the neighbour’s recycle bin…it’s covered in buzzing, stinging horrors! Move away from those windfall apples under that tree…my worst nightmares are crawling over the rotting fruit!
Where do these fears come from? Why do we find ourselves overwhelmed by such unreasonable concerns? I believe in the balance of nature. I know that the hornets, like all the other insects, are an important part of our ecosystem, a beloved piece of God’s creation…but still…
As a result of my over-reaction, my children are now terrified of these buzzing yellow insects, as well. And that saddens me. Of all the things I want to pass on to my children, fear was never one of them.
Sometimes I think we encounter these fears in order to overcome them. As I was walking home today a favourite piece of scripture kept running through my head, from Pslam 104:
“ How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”
I was reminded today that we were not created for fear. We were created for love. We were created to care for this fragile creation. We were created to respect and cherish all life. So tomorrow I promise to do better. I promise to face my fears, to show my children that what God created is always good. I vow to look a hornet in the eye and wish him a good day! I have my doubts about this plan, but I’ll trust in God’s wisdom and I’ll let you know how it goes!
To be continued tomorrow…Good night friends!