by Sr. Noeleen Mooney, MMM Ireland/Kenya 13.01.2022
Let me see, why did I do it?
I was on retreat at St. Therese House of Prayer in Nakuru, Kenya, run by the St. Patrick’s Fathers. The spacious garden is an oasis of peace and solitude. In the garden they have built a rondavel with a grass roof. There is where I sat, grateful for the shade from a too penetrating sun.
I noticed the hornets coming and going to one spot on the roof, silent but single-minded at their task. I went for a closer look. Yes! They were building, and already some of the delicate honeycomb was occupied by the next generation of hornets.
And I remembered – the struggle in our parish church in Tanzania to remove the many nests which had been built, out of reach, filled with dive-bombing hornets.
My presumption was that this particular group would continue to build and be a danger to anyone using the rondavel in the future. Even maybe myself, the next time. I pondered on the struggle between being the one with the power, and having respect for all creation.
So, I pulled down the nest and threw it into the middle of a thorny bush – irretrievable.
That was yesterday.
Today I sat there again and watched the hornets – undaunted, coming and going to exactly the same spot. No doubt they were wondering, perhaps grieving, but intent on rebuilding with the same meticulous care.
Yes, it was wrong to pull down the hornet’s nest. But it left me wondering on how I use the power I have been given, not just hornet nest-removing power, but the power to dominate instead of accepting everything as a gift. I have the power to destroy instead of letting be, and especially the power to recognize that hornets are as much entitled to their place on our planet, for they were created by a loving God, just as I was.