A civilization of ants made a crowded pilgrimage up and down the edge of my garage floor where it met the driveway. They weren’t there yesterday, but this morning, as I put the final touches on the packing task for the road trip to Vermont, I saw them. Like a wide and wavy black line, they scurried along the demarcation between garage and drive, all the way to the corner of the brick edged wall.
My only line of defense was a Wasp Bomb. It surely did the trick. I felt like an insect Hitler as I sprayed in a long swath and watched the marching little squiggles turn into commas and periods, and finally . . . a sort of scattering of sesame seed carcasses. Bleah!
If only they had stayed where they belonged, I thought. And where would that be, I asked myself? In the grass? Interrupting someone’s picnic? Up a tree with rotting bark? Pilgrims, whether they be ants or people, just go where they are destined to go. That’s probably why there are so many pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago every year. And I will be another speck moving through the Spanish countryside, through the little villages, the towns, the cities, backpack on my back, boots or shoes, and those ever-wonderful 1000 Mile Fusion Socks.
Today I embarked on a different sort of pilgrimage . . . a road trip from Colorado to Vermont, a sole human traveler with two Golden Retrievers in the back seat, trunk and car topper loaded to the gills.
I will make my doggie and solo human trek 2000 miles at my own pace, rest at Stone Walls, my beloved Cavendish Retreat, and do whatever I please for three weeks before Neil joins me for the last seven days. Then the pilgrimage home, accompanied by another human as well as the animals. Extra humans change things, but the pilgrimage is no less important, no less valid.
I don’t know whether I’ll walk the Vermont country roads or just sit in my own back meadow on my own Adirondack chair, surrounded by Golden fluff with eight legs. I do know that I desperately need this time to myself. Especially after annihilating an ant country with a single spray. I’ll do my penance, and I AM sorry. I can only hope some raider from a lost ark doesn’t look down on me and my walking companions next September 2013, and get out her cosmic spray can, flattening all of us with one WHOOSH!