• Libbie

Wasp: Love in the Time of Apocalypse

Paul and I had a terrible fight today. We really blew up at each other. Of course we made up afterward, but clearly the stress of this situation is getting to us both. I feel terrible about the fight. We need each other now more than ever. I don't want to let it happen again.

Yesterday, working out in my garden, I came upon a wasp which I'd first thought dead. I bent over it but saw its leg and its antenna move feebly. It was still alive, though barely.

All at once, I couldn't bear the thought of that poor creature dying on the hard paving stones. I began to cry for it, its smallness and frailness, and the nearness of its end after so brief and beautiful a life. Carefully, I picked it up and tucked it in the bud of a peony. I wanted it to know something gentler and more comforting than hard stone in the last moments of its life.

I watched it for a long while. Its legs and antennae moved a little more vigorously. It looked up at me with its black, many-faceted eye. It was a small act of mercy in a world that must be short on mercy for some while yet to come.

Eventually, I left it and went on with my work. Later, when I passed by the peony again, the wasp was gone. Either it had recovered and flown away, or some other creature had come for it, taken it for food--some bird, a line of ants. Either way, life's purpose was served.

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