It may have been the wisdom of Buddha or Nietzsche or Rafiki who taught that life is a circle . . . and for the most part it is.
There’s the mind-boggling Circle of Life enormity of birth, life, and death.
Then there’s the mildly irritating Circle of Life in my frig. Last week’s heap of sale cherry tomatoes reduced by a salad, dwindled by a kabob, and finally tossed into the compost heap will reincarnate when I plant my geraniums in the hanging baskets next spring. The tomatoes are dead! Long live the geraniums!
Life takes many geometrical shapes other than a circle.
There’s the out of control spiral (What’s going on with North Korea?)
Then there’s the hierarchy of the triangle (Exactly how did Trump reach the apex?).
And don’t forget the halt of an octagon (Can that Delaware-sized iceberg be stopped before it goes Titanic on us?)
I developed The Open Polygon of Life Theory for my backyard. (An open polygon is a shape with straight lines that don’t form an enclosed figure. Think of the letter “Z” or the Dow Jones chart when a good start ends on a bad note.)
Bees, butterflies, and mosquitoes respectively buzzed, flitted and annoyed this summer. While the bees and butterflies earned their keep, mosquitoes had yet to convince me of their value. When I weeded my garden in early June an occasional slap and wave deterred the annoying critters. By mid July I doused with DEET before hunting dandelions. When a squadron of mosquitoes infiltrated my OFF shield, I retreated to the back deck to replenish my vapor barrier. As I considered weaving dryer sheets through my belt loops as a further deterrent (a Facebook hack) I noticed my shallow pool of a birdbath wriggled with life, and it wasn’t avian!
Mosquito larvae scuttled along the bottom, planning their next life invasion no doubt! Worst of all I aided and abetted the enemy! I had thought the cascading waterfall and spraying nozzle prevented mosquito procreation. Apparently there was more procreating occurring than cascading and spraying.
I reviewed solutions to my problem: I could empty, scrub, and refill the pool, or I could buy fathead minnows. The first option required hours of messy work. The second a quick run to the bait shop.
Driving home from Dave’s Bait Shop I congratulated myself on the genius of my plan. I purchased a dozen fathead minnows to free in my pool where they’d snarf up the mosquito larvae. Later, I’d net a few and troll for bass, perch or maybe a walleye. Fatheads eat larvae. Bass eat fatheads. I eat bass. It was the Open Polygon of Life with mosquitoes eliminated!
My Fathead filled bait bucket rode shotgun on the floor. It sloshed as I took a curve a little too fast. I slowed but not before the slosh advanced to a full tip. Silvery Fatheads flopped on the carpet and under the seat as the water soaked into the mat. I struggled to concentrate on my driving so as not to be a victim of fishing and driving. Once home I parked on my lawn near the gate, scooped up the liveliest minnows from the car floor, and dashed to the backyard. I tossed them in the pond and returned to the car to survey the damage of dead Fatheads and stinky car mat.
I had traded one afternoon of messy work of cleaning the pool with an afternoon of cleaning the car. At least I had the minnows in place and the source of the problem solved. No more (or fewer) mosquitoes!
In the evening I watched as the Fatheads darted after the larvae and thrilled as the potential bloodsuckers diminished. That night I dreamt of a mosquito free pond.
A Fathead free pond would have been a more accurate vision. Not one minnow survived the night. I hadn’t accounted for a raccoon engaging in a late night dinner as a segment to my Open Polygon of Life theory.
I had ended up right back where I started which supports my new theory, The Circle of Faulty Problem Solving.