Bats in the Cracks
Wilderness living means sharing my environment, but not my home. Rodents are uninvited guests. I’m generally ruthless when it comes to mice and rats. I assure you, my cat is worse. But what I’ve really come to deplore are bats.
I remember reading in my old hometown newspaper about a man who died of rabies—after a bat had apparently bit him while he slept. Ever since then I’ve had a wholesome respect, if not fear, of bats.
It doesn’t help that our log cabin seems to be a bat magnet. They love our chimney. Around its outside edge there are numerous cozy, warm places to sleep until their evening hours. We have reluctantly co-existed until a few years ago when they decided it was even warmer in the cabin.
As fate would have it one swooped into our bedroom as we were sleeping. I awoke as it was flying around the room. The bat and I both frantically tried to find the nearest exit, and in the process we collided and it scratched me as it flew off and disappeared. The health authorities needed the bat to determine if it had rabies. We had 3 days to find it, or I would face the rabies vaccinations.
We tore our place apart looking for that little devil. At the same time, we went on a rampage to seal every last crevice where a wayward bat might enter. Late in the afternoon on the third day we found the bat. It wasn’t his lucky day. It amazed me that a creature with such an impressive wingspan could squish into such a tiny space.
Sealing all the cracks and tiny holes reminded me of the areas in my own life that needed the same thing. I pondered how just a tiny opening in my mind allows a thought to enter—and then it leads to actions taking me in the wrong direction. Bad habits generally start with a small step—just a tiny opening in my resistance is all that’s needed. And like the bat—it could potentially invite pain or worse.
Cracks aren't healthy. One crack led to my eventual eating disorder. Sealed that one long ago. Small cracks can hurt now and even more later.
Being older doesn't give immunity to cracks--so check often. Cracks have consequences.
The other night we were shocked to have another bat swoop through the cabin at dusk. Almost five years since the first one had found a way inside. Proving yet again that I need to keep working at taking care of those cracks—whether they are in the cabin walls or in my own life.