Nature and I are in a fight. I haven't admitted this situation to anyone until this moment, but it needs to be said out loud and so I'm saying it. I'm more than a little hesitant to acknowledge the present rift in my relationship with the natural world, but there's currently a spider in my bathroom and no else is here to kill it and it's only the twentieth insect/arachnid I've spied in my house in the last two days, so I'm a little on edge and nature is to blame. There, I said it.
Cicadas have descended on our house this summer like a plague of Moses-era proportions and I'm starting to wonder when they're planning to take over the world and eat all of our belongings. (In related news, I keep reading that Nashvillians are eating them as pizza toppings and dunking them in chocolate. This makes my skin crawl and gives me bad dreams at night.) And yet, those red-eyed, winged monsters are small potatoes compared to the freakishly large wolf spiders Matt so cavalierly dismisses when I point one out and subsequently run away shrieking as he shakes his head and maybe even rolls his eyes a little. He doesn't understand this response of mine to eight-legged creatures, but it's as instinctive a reaction as a knee jerk at the doctor's office. However, he has yet to see it as normal or acceptable.
Speaking of my nature-loving husband, I should tell you that he's overly fond of sleeping on the ground and tasting leaves of edible trees and buying three-day underwear (really?) at the local outdoor store. Before we fell in love, I unwittingly caused him to assume that I, too, was of the sort who loves subzero sleeping bags and climbing things in my spare time and would choose a hike through the woods over a trip to the mall 500 times to zero. And, I'll admit that I do have a soft place in my heart for a good hike through the woods that ends with a nice view on a crisp fall day full of pretty leaves and no mosquitos. BUT, let it be known that although I can strap on a pair of Chacos with the best of them, I love air conditioning and the smell of Starbucks in my hair and the feel of legs that have been shaved within the last 24 hours. So sue me.
But, I'm getting off track. These little differences between my husband and I regarding our hobbies and interests doesn't really have anything to do with the fact that nature and I are in a fight.
I am the proud parent of an 18 month old son who loves dirt under his fingernails and the taste of sand and the feel of bugs and rocks and anything else that has to do with what's outside my air-conditioned house, I am under contract as a mother to a son to be outside more than I would choose to be under normal circumstances. I've noticed of late that I've become increasingly and inconveniently nervous about spending time in the Great Outdoors (i.e. my yard). I find myself scanning our little grassy space for possible lurking reptiles or hairy spiders or kamikaze cicadas. It's nervewracking and I realize that confessing this to you will likely relegate me to the "Lame" category in your slam book. I know that loving nature is cool and relevant and fashionable and "in." And, yet, with each spider in my bathroom and every empty cicada shell on my front stoop, I dream of fumigating this little quarter of an acre we live on.
Perhaps I'm exaggerating here. A little. A very little bit. I fear I am becoming less appealing as a human being as I type this post and so I should wrap this up before I fall off the edge of your list of people you want to hang out with. To sum up, yes, I love God's creation. But, I could really do with a few less cicadas and I'm also considering commissioning a task force to kill all the spiders within a 5 mile vicinity of my house. Is that so wrong?
Don't tell Matt I said that.