Where I live it rains a lot and it’s warm for most of the year. The soil is rich volcanic clay. Things grow really well, including grass and bugs. Along with those wonderful things come mould, mud, mosquitoes, tropical parasites and a roaring trade in lawn mowing and garden equipment repairs. And along with all that also comes – ANT MOUNDS!
Picture yourself coming out on a sunny morning to see your beautifully mowed, bright green spring lawn covered in little conical mounds of mud at the rate of up to 20 per square metre: like a minefield on your lovely lawn that you have to step carefully through, unless you want mud packed into your soles and up the sides of your shoes, or between your toes and under your toenails.
Many people in this area react by poisoning the ants, to keep their lawns looking pretty. All good, yeah?
Well, hang on a minute, let’s look at what’s really going on here. That high rainfall and that rich clay soil means – waterlogging. I watched my lovely big tomatoes and avocado tree curl up their toes and die in one very wet season, and there were shortages of avocadoes, tomatoes and many other fruits and vegetables all over the region.
So, what have ant mounds got to do with it? Well, ants live in a dense network of tunnels – like a city under your lawn. When they make those mud mounds they are bringing up all the soil that’s washed into their hallways due to the rains. They clear their underground city’s tunnels thus allowing air to flow though.
The piles of mud brought topside can at last dry out in the sporadic warm sun. And they are in tiny grains, no longer the big rock-hard, water-repellent clumps they used to be. Thus what the ants do for themselves, they are also doing for everyone, keeping the soil aerated and soft so plant roots are happy and plants can grow well and be productive. Great, so we must accept the good work the ants are doing and perhaps adjust our perspectives on aesthetics.
But what’s this ant mound blog got to do with health and healing?
Well, just like that ant-soil-plant-ecosystem process, there are ALL kinds of processes of clearing and correction to maintain vitality and balance whether it be the ants, bandicoots, groundhogs or badgers digging up our gardens, or entire rainforests, deserts, oceans, coastal reefs, etc., right down to our cells and our body. Our body is also an ecology which maintains itself dynamically, clearing out stagnation and old stuff to keep the flow going and the balance harmonious. And our body process, the ant and soil process and all others like it, are connected and mutually dependent in one big sphere of life.
Do we treat our bodies like many people treat the ant mounds? Do we complain about the farts, coughs, rashes, headaches, pains, cellulite and pimples? Do we resort to various treatments to keep ourselves ‘looking good’ (on the outside) like a pretty lawn, while the stagnation and old toxic substances and energies build up unseen below the surface because they are not being cleared?
Do we want a temporarily pretty lawn at the expense of the long-term health of our garden and the land? Do we want a nice-looking body, one that we can do to whatever we want at the expense of our long-term health and wellbeing? Well, ‘better out than in’ as they say, is my feeling here. Of course clearing something from our bodies can be uncomfortable and not-so-pretty at times.
What if we were to change our views and accept the lovely ecological re-balancing opportunity being offered by our illnesses?
With this I don’t mean trying to get sick, continuing to disregard and abuse our bodies or keep accumulating toxins, which will then force our body to correct and clear itself! What I do suggest is taking a deeper look at our relationship to how things look on the surface, our comfort, convenience, and aesthetics, and what might really be going on underneath as a totality.
So perhaps when we see those ant mounds, or holes dug by the other little ‘ecology minders’ in our gardens, it can be a reminder to us about the ecology within our bodies and how that connects to and is part of the whole big picture of life on Earth.
By Dianne Trussell BSc Hons, Goonellabah, NSW, Australia