You probably don’t know I have an intense love for Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s book, “Women Who Run with the Wolves " (Referenced as WWRWTW going forward, to make it easier on us both). It was given to me by my herbal/spiritual mentor in 2014, and I spent a year reading and contemplating one chapter a month.
The end of the book happened to time perfectly with a Facebook post about mosquito spraying in our town that late August evening of 2015, and it started me thinking.
“Wait. What the hell does mosquito spraying have to do about a book about Women living wild!?!”
Well, I’m constantly looking for patterns (remember I told you last week, how much I love mystery novels?). I see patterns as circular events, rather than linear. So in my little world, everything ties in to something else, and I passionately search for the bigger picture. Of course I’m not alone in this train of thought – I’m guessing you do it, too.
Back to how I linked this book to mosquito spraying. First, the book.
In a nutshell, WWRWTW gives women their sense of empowerment back, as well as an understanding into our inner workings. Pinkola certainly isn’t justifying PMS rants, or giving us cause to burn bras and hate men…very much to the contrary, in fact.
Instead, it’s about understanding feminine instincts, drives, and (most importantly) being OK with all of them. Which I was not.
For me at least, it’s made me stronger and more compassionate to all human beings. It’s made me more “wild,” shall we say…honoring the feminine gifts I have.
Now for the mosquito spraying.
The town of Islip, East Islip and Great River are being doused with Scourge pesticide in the late summer months, to control the mosquitoes. Rather than approach it with natural remedies for these pests, thousands of gallons of pesticides will be dumped on our lawns, pools, outdoor furniture, roads, plants, and waterways.
If you'd like some basic info on Scourge, you can access it here.
Some of my favourite parts of the health publication include:
- “It’s ground spraying, not aerial…
- Scourge breaks down fairly quickly in water and sunlight…
- It’s not proven to be cancerous.”
Last time I checked, there’s something called runoff, and what goes on our ground, goes in our food and water supply. If it does in fact break down fairly quickly in water,
- Consider it now in your tap water.
- Don’t mosquitos live primarily in stagnant water? So...how’s this effectively controlling them?
- Last but certainly NOT least, this lovely pesticide is combined with petroleum/mineral oil, which IS a known carcinogen…so yes, it can and will cause cancer. It’s very clever marketing to say Resmethrin (one of the key ingredients in Scourge) probably doesn’t cause cancer. Individually, most things don’t cause cancer…it’s the synergy of them with OTHER things, that cause cancer!
The bottom line is that whether you agree with me on the spraying or not, we residents deserve a choice. And we deserve to know this is happening in the first place. Had I not read about it through a friend, I wouldn’t have known to call and request them to skip our house.
Yes, I know that the spraying will occur a couple of houses down, and it will drift down to our yard eventually. But at least it’ll be less potent and dangerous for our plants and wildlife.
Now for the link between the damn book and mosquitoes!
As I was watering our lawn shortly after all of this, I started to ponder how our yard compares to the pristine, lush landscaping some of our neighbors have. Our property is surrounded by trees that we don’t trim, unless they have dead limbs/disease, or are dangerously close to collapsing out house.
We have wild flowers and random plants all around our yard, which are typically planted by the wild life we attract. We have a bed of herbs I lovingly call the “Garden of Misunderstanding.” In it grows mugwort, polk, plantain, spiderwort, and a host of other “weeds.” We water, we trim the grass and bushes, and we blow away the leaves when time permits.
It’s clean, but not well-manicured. It’s…well…wild.
I often wonder the purpose and psychology behind such perfect yards, and this day of watering was one of those times. I then think of the pesticides that are needed to maintain it, and the unnecessary over-watering. (Sometimes watering occurs while it’s still raining outside, which admittedly infuriates me!)
Then I think of the mosquito spraying, and I think of the birds and bats on our property that need those mosquitos for food. We have less and less bats every year, and more and more pesticides. As of the summer of 2017, I saw only one bat, when 4 years ago, we had a family that flocked around at dusk.
Unfortunately, it seems the mosquito population isn’t dwindling much (and it’s not because they skip our house, smarty pants). And think of how many cells a mosquito has—do we really think it can’t evolve and become resistant to our sprays at an alarmingly fast rate!?!
There’s something in being “wild,” that’s very freeing. Whether it’s your yard or your life, I urge you to give it a try. Let your hair down, let the grass grow a bit. Give Mother Nature a chance to win for a bit, and see what gifts she has for us in return. Every year, we enjoy new trees, plants, bushes, etc. - all around our property.
This year, we’ve been blessed with Rose of Sharon plants EVERYWHERE. The closest house with this plant is about 2 blocks away, across the street from us. To think a bird, squirrel, butterfly, bee, or the wind somehow managed to bring these lovely shrubs to our home, completely amazes me. At the same time, I’m saddened by the thought of our neighbors, who would have plucked these little life forces (or half our yard, for that matter) from the Earth, because they don’t fit in with the profile they’ve imagined for their lawn.
Next year when the shrubs are stronger, we’ll transplant them to better locations, where they’ll be in the appropriate sun and soil for them. Until then, I enjoy watching our yard transform itself, and am thankful for the presents we get every year from our great Mother.
Mother Nature is a Wild Woman… It’s about understanding our instincts, drives, and being OK with all of them. It’s time we understand nature has a different idea of perfection than we do. It’s time we stop trying to fit her into our mold of perfection. Leave her alone, let her be Wild, and see what happens. After all, she’s been at this *a wee bit* longer than we have.
Honor your own Wild nature within…let those weeds grow a bit and let those mosquitoes fly around.