June 26, 2020

Gnats.  As if this insect wasn’t annoying enough it has to add that silent g at the beginning of its name.  Well, the gnats moved in and began mass producing inside our home.  A veritable population explosion.  It’s not subtle either.  It went from one gnat to South Myrtle Beach in August, overnight!  We sanitized all the drains and plugged them up.  We went through the refrigerator and removed anything food related off of the counters.  We sprayed and we prayed but they kept coming.  We checked the drip pan on the air conditioner unit in the attic and we apologetically violated our puppy’s personal space.  Nothing led us to their breeding ground.

My son had been telling me all along that the house plants had to go.  This was the first time in my life I’d been able to keep house plants alive and thriving.  I resisted and blindly defended my stance, but eventually had to concede as gnat Mardi Gras was entering its second month.  

I am very aware that they call them ‘house plants’ on purpose.  Some plants are not meant to live outside of the house.  There was no way I could simply throw them in the garbage, so I moved them onto the back porch.  Again, denying the inevitable and choosing to torture my death row plants.  Thus began their slow demise.  Each day I would visit them in what I now call “Plant Hospice” and reminisce about our good times and what joy they have given me.  Each day, as I go back in the house, I swear I hear “bitch…” softly whispered in the wind.

Of course the gnats are now gone.  Of course the plants are nearly gone as well.  I’ve been made aware of an interesting pattern.  My children reminded me that my back porch has long been synonymous with tragic endings.  There was a time I tried to cook, back in the early 2000’s.  I became very good at burning things.  Let’s be more specific.  I was The Incinerator.  A fire extinguisher was my Mother’s Day present that year.  My reputation was factually supported by the ever growing mound of melted, red hot, smoking cookware resting outside on the cement slab.  Several actually fused together, in a sort of hideous metallic tribute.  In those days, Plant Hospice was known as Pot Purgatory.  Now, whenever I let my puppy out the back door, he pauses and looks back at me with trepidation, silently asking, “Et tu, Mommy?”

We all have a place where we hide our mistakes, our failures, our unmentionables (not those kind).  The ones I mentioned here may have been innocent, but we all have intentionally created things we’d like to put away.  What would we do without his grace?  What would we do without his forgiveness,  without the chance to start again and do better?  We are given that everyday by our Creator God.  His mercies are new every morning.  “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

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