If you didn’t get to the dining area by 6:30, you didn’t get breakfast. The elephant herd cut through the brush on the edge of the safari lodge’s manicured lawn and followed toward the river on the other side, cutting right through the lobby. It was their mango trail. Their path was formed centuries before with the lodge imposing a new inconevience, but nothing large enough to detour the elephants from their path.
The same phenomenon is occurring at our house, only the stage and players are much less majestic. Instead of a safari lodge in the Great Rift Valley, a home in a San Diego canyon. Instead of a line of elephants, a flow of ants. One millionth the size and every bit as insurmountable as a whole family of elephants along a mango trail.
My mom waged war against the ants with a battery of talc and orange oil as they emerged from impossibly microscopic holes between the grout of our kitchen tile and paraded through our house along the baseboards of our new hardwood floors.
Nature is an awesome thing to behold. We rage and wrestle against it while it tacitly and tenaciously reminds us that it was here first. Our buildings accidentally constructed in the middle of their trails are not their problem, but ours. As I watch the ants stream down our halls I remember those elephants and try to internalize the lesson that sometimes it truly is saner to just “go with the flow”.