I’m continuing to learn a lot about and from our vegetable garden. For me, gardening is the perfect metaphor for life in general and spiritual life in specific. I’ve found that if I need to take my spiritual temperature, there’s a 16′ x 10′ plot in the backyard that’s a surprisingly accurate gauge. Currently, it’s “Neglected, but on the rise.”
For some reason, since returning from Zambia, I have just been awful about keeping everything on a consistent watering schedule and you don’t need me to describe the results. But, a few days ago, I was checking on one of the tomato plants and saw a pack of bugs crawling around on a cluster of three green tomatoes.
My first thought was to get the water hose, set the spray nozzle to “BOO-YAH!” and go medieval on them. My second thought was, “Maybe I should do some investigating and make sure that these guys actually pose a threat before I blast them. After all, I might do more harm than good if I jump to conclusions.”
After some looking around, I discovered that fortunately, these guys are a type of assassin bug called “Wheel Bugs” and the bugs on our fruit are newly hatched nymphs. They are considered highly beneficial because they kill harmful insects by stabbing them and sucking the life out of them. I guess I should say they are beneficial for gardeners, not so much for the other guy.
I also discovered that the splotches are a result of insufficient nutrients, meaning I need to fertilize some more. Again with the metaphor. It’s not even subtle sometimes.