Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bigger than My Fear

At 2:02 a.m., I suddenly awaken, my body as taut as a stretched elastic band. There is rustling in my room. I hear it again. The fear I feel is primeval, gripping. I can scarcely breathe.

It’s a grey, furry field mouse coming out of hiding in the corner. His family has been proliferating in this building – and as mice often do, he has climbed to the 2nd floor, where it’s warmer in Montreal’s harsh winter climate.

Since the duplex became infested, I have barricaded myself in my bedroom at night, not wanting to run into the little critters. I realize that I’ve locked myself IN with the very creature I want to avoid. Shit! I open the door so he can scamper out. Later I find a dead mouse in one of my traps, hopefully him. Everything being scrupulously clean in my apartment, the dab of peanut butter in the trap must have been enticing.

Here I am dealing with something that strikes terror in my heart. I ask myself what I could be learning – faith? courage? strength? I pray. I take action (fresh mouse traps, carefully baited) as I wait for the exterminator. He praises the efficiency of his poison bait and tells me this isn’t the worst case he’s seen.

I think of others around the globe dealing with scorpions, deadly snakes, giant spiders or destructive forces of nature. How do they do it?

It’s important not to give into our fear, but to see it as a friend that alerts us to danger. To use it as a spur to action. And then to hand our problem over to a Higher Power, with thanks in advance. I believe we are never ever truly alone!