The Black and Red of it

A couple of nights ago I had two dreams about ants, ants that for some reason were stinging me. I tried, for a couple of days, to remember what the circumstances were that ants would be stinging me, and why I should be dreaming quantity ants all at once. In the waking hours, ants and I get along pretty well.

After I gave up trying to figure out the why, I looked up ants in my Indian Medicine book. Ants have a lot of good qualities: community oriented, dedicated, innovative, strong. But their biggest asset, the book said, was patience.

There are thousands upon thousands of varieties of ants, some both red and black, some green. Not all sting. Some emit toxins as defense. Some exist in the safety in numbers category. A lone ant is a brave ant, or an extremely anti-social ant, you know, like some artists. Ants are also experts at exploiting resources, like some people I know. But why were the ants talking to me?

The book said if ant appears in your cards, (dreams), it could be telling you to exercise some patience: are you worrying over “it” appearing or not appearing? Patience the book said, was letting go of want and trusting that “it” will appear when you most need it. That seemed at the moment to be the crux – trust. Patience is trust in action. To often I equate patience with waiting; interminable time passing while “it” decides to come or not come. But when I think of patience as trust….when I think of the way the universe is working, and here “is working” is meant to indicate the operation of all possibilities manifesting, …then am I not also making ready the place of manifestation?

Singer/songwriter Brooke Frazier has a song called “Love is Waiting”, and her song, it seems to me, is an indication of a coming together of individual desires with universal desire to fulfill. So there is that whole ant thing – the ant colony wants to succeed, the individual ants have the tools to make it happen, no matter how long it takes.

Once while eating lunch in the forest, I watched two ants attempt to carry off a piece of shredded lettuce that had fallen from my sandwich. One ant on each end, but just as they were making good progress, a fly would land in the middle and stop it all. Each ant would work its way toward the stoppage, until the fly zooming off and the ants meeting, they would resume their positions and get going again. Of course the fly was also persistent and this cycle was endless.

In the Hopi Indian creation story, (which is really really beautiful by the way), each time the creator needs to recreate the world, the ants are charged with taking care of the people. The first time this happened it took a little longer than the creator thought and so the ants began to run out of food. But they took their charge seriously and kept feeding the people, tightening their own belts, until the creator took the top off the colony and told the people to continue on their own.

Apparently patience wins the day.

The Black and Red of it


Concord, United States

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