Dead Ant

20 Jul

With the rains, which are lovely, come the ten plagues which are not.  Instead of frogs, lice, and boils, we get mosquitoes, flies, and ants – each raining down upon us for about a week at a time.   Thankfully, plague number 10 is not death of the first-born, but it is a rather annoying flying ant.

These flying ants appear with the early morning, heavy rains, living only minutes before shedding their wings and dying.  The result is this:

They are harmless – no stinging, no bites, no poison – yet they remain a nuisance.  It’s impossible to sweep them up entirely, as there are always a few hangers-on left clinging to the dead ones – as if trying to revive them, bring them back to life.

Over the weekend, as I attempted to rid our balcony of these little suckers, I tried creating a metaphor for the bugs.  Like life, they are fragile – in death, there is beauty.  I even tried taking a photo of the dead bugs as I threw them over the side of the patio, thinking that for just a moment, the dead wings looked beautiful as they scattered to the ground.  I wanted to find something meaningful in these dying critters.

The reality is – they are bugs.  Dead bugs.  And a nuisance.  I was annoyed to be spending the first few peaceful moments of my morning sweeping up these little buggers instead of enjoying my morning coffee with Lucy at my side.  I was irritated to be cleaning them up myself as Justin slept comfortably in our air-conditioned room.  I was frustrated that it was the cleaning lady’s day off.  Meaning-shmeaning.

And just as I was about to dismiss all hope for meaning in these little bugs, I turned around to find Justin, eyes still heavy with sleep, quietly sweeping up the little pile of dead bugs behind me.  So, metaphor for life?  Perhaps that’s a stretch.  But it’s nice to know there’s someone behind me, cleaning up the bugs.

4 Responses to “Dead Ant”

  1. Kristen @ Motherese July 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Can I just tell you how much I love the fact that you instantly tried to find a metaphor for the dead ants? That’s exactly what I would have done. Occupational hazard, perhaps?

    And I’m so pleased, of course, that you were able to come up with one – and, of course again, that you have a partner who’s always behind you, cleaning up the bugs.

    • Sarah July 21, 2011 at 2:07 am #

      I love that you love my metaphor struggle! Isn’t it amazing where we look for meaning in life? Clearly we are just incredibly introspective people 🙂

  2. madison April 2, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Hello! Your blog is extremely fascinating. I’m aware this is an old post but I’ve been scouring the internet trying to figure out what kind of bug I was bitten/stung by in Nicaragua last year. I went to La Isla de Ometepe in the Winter of 2010-2011 to study at the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy (field school) and was stung or bitten by an insect. It looked an awful lot like a flying ant to me, but it had to have been venomous or poisonous, as I had a severe reaction (a small welt, a stinging pain sensation) and probably a good 4 inches of redness in diameter surrounding the bite/sting. I also had not agitated the bug to my knowledge, as I watched it approach from afar, land on my arm, bite/sting me, and then fly away, all the while I wasn’t moving or doing much of anything, so I would imagine it is naturally aggressive. If you’ve been in Nicaragua long enough, I thought maybe you could enlighten me as to what kind of insect you think this was? I completely understand if you have no idea. I loved the wildlife in Nicaragua! Our class spent a lot of time viewing Howler Monkeys as well as the non-native Spider Monkeys and Capuchins.

    • Sarah April 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

      Hi Madison. Thanks for your note! I wish I could identify the bug for you, but I’m not sure exactly what stung you! I have experienced similar bites before and they sure are a pain! Glad you enjoyed your visit to Nicaragua! All the best to you!
      ~Sarah

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