by Scott McGuire

Last summer I learned a profound lesson in the way land absorbs our emotional energy and reflects it back. I was scything down some tall weeds and grasses in a huff of seething fury. A housemate had done some idiotic things. While I worked, I went over them all in my mind, indulging in scenarios that blew out of all proportion the actual events. I had forgotten the basic Perelandra/Findhorn principle of working with a good attitude (or not at all) as well as Pan's revelation that one's emotional condition was channelled into the earth directly by the tool in hand. All of a sudden I was attacked by a cloud of hornets. I dropped the scythe and ran off shouting obscenities and flailing my arms in the strange dance unique to the discoverers of hornets' nests. Completely outraged, all co-creative awareness vanished, and I cursed the wasps and threw rocks in their direction, as if it was their fault I had stepped in their home.

Instead of cooling off and tending to my stings, I moved to another area and began whacking down stalks of teasel, a particularly nasty weed — excuse me, a well-protected plant with sharp spikes around an egg-shaped seed pod. Of course, I was madder than ever, but "just had to get the job done." After a few minutes of thrashing, as if to add injury to insult, one of the seed pods smacked me in the eye. A flash of white, then darkness, pain and tears as I finally staggered back to the house.

A trip to the doctor revealed a scratched cornea, and I had to have a patch over my eye for at least a week. This gave me plenty of time to reflect on what I had done. What was I "not seeing" about this situation? What were the hornets trying to "point out" to me? The answers seem obvious now, and, yes, one is to always wear eye protection for safety's sake.

As my eyesight gradually returned, the deeper significance became clearer as well. It involved learning how to be responsible for my emotions, particularly anger. Like many of us who grew up in dysfunctional households, it was never okay for me to express anger. So, through the years, I learned to "stuff it." My housemate's actions were simply triggers, opportunities to release some of this anger in an appropriate way. Nature had successfully impressed upon me how inappropriate it was to dwell on angering thoughts while working.

After I realized all this, I went ahead with some inner work to vent and release some anger around the cause issues. I also sensed it would be appropriate to do an energy cleansing for the "battle zone." Soon after, I was walking by the hornets' nest, and noticed a pile of dirt where their hole had been. I went over cautiously to investigate and discovered that a skunk had found the nest and dug it out, presumably to feast on the night-cooled and sluggish hornets. Now I'm sure hornets have a significant role to play in the over-all balance of vitality in the co-creative garden. (Maybe it's just to wake up the gardener!) But this nest was located right near a main path. I was grateful for what they had done to help my awareness, but now that I'd learned my lesson, I didn't mind in the least that this particular mirror had been removed.