Egg-on-a-stick, la, la, la, la!

One of the things that has surprised me about how I've been choosing to allot my time since leaving work (I still have trouble calling it retirement) is how much of my energy I've been willing to dedicate to working in my yard.

In a way, yard work is really just glorified nesting. It falls easily in the category of organizing things and setting them right. That I've been extremely drawn to an activity lately that helps make things tidy, with clearly defined boundaries is unsurprising, really.

But what it's also given me without a doubt is a vibrantly renewed relationship with nature as I watch it in all its sweep and glory as it unfolds, changes, progresses, dies. To enhance the dialogue, I have little zen exercises I like to enjoy like sweeping the front porch each and every morning, allowing me to notice what has changed on an unprecedentedly intimate scale and be present to that life is happening all around me.

Today while I was trimming limbs to be hauled away for mulching, I discovered a tiny stalk of lacewing eggs on the interstice of a branch I was clipping. I love lacewings - delicate, beautiful, helpful (they love to devour aphids and mealy bugs). If you look closely at an adult, you can see a beautiful iridescent petticoat beneath their elaborate and aptly named wings. And they're the most delightful shade of green!
The egg stalks are simply magical to behold. The physics of the thing is what first strikes me upon discovering a nursery. Enormous ovoids (less than half the size of a sesame seed to us) elevated to a great height, hovering above the vegetation suspended on a filament of microfine hair. How on earth can an insect spinaret produce a semirigid structure that can support something so many, many times its own weight? The stalks are also quite flexible, allowing the eggs to ride safely and securely along on the slightest puff of air. You just know it's got to be cozy in there, tucked inside one of those eggs, riding the air currents with the whim of the wind as your unpredictable nanny.

If consciousness is perfectly designed, there will be an opportunity at some point to fully experience just such a thing, way more vividly than is possible in human imagination alone. I hold out hope that this is in fact the design of the universe and that I'll someday be able to sit in the great cosmic LazyBoy and play with all the experiences that are possible only in the space of nothing.

See what this nature stuff does to my brain? Or maybe I truly am from another planet.

I've tucked the branch with the egg stalks safely away in a potted cactus where I can watch it. I'll be happy to see the little nymphs when they emerge, if I'm lucky. But that is how my life happens now. Isn't that fabulous???

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