By Sr. Nun Other
I have an arch enemy, a nemesis who ruins my chances of Sunday morning sleep-ins. When his hammering begins around 5:00 AM with surgeon-like precision, I ask myself, “How does he know it’s Sunday?” (And what does he do the rest of the week?)
It feels and sounds like he’s pecking away on my window shutters, but that’s not the case. With my hair at crazy angles and retribution in my eyes, I glare outside, ready to fire a slipper. But he eludes me.
There’s an axiom know your enemy, so I researched woodpeckers on the internet. Number one, they’re adorable. Number two, this guy was simply searching for food. Woodpeckers’ acute hearing allows them to detect insects crawling beneath tree bark. Powerful muscles and a tough bill break through the bark, then the woodpecker’s sticky tongue secures a tasty insect snack.
It occurs to me that I’ve just had a lesson in mercy. I take this woodpecker personally, when he’s simply being a woodpecker. I do this with people as well — take things personally — then create imaginary scenarios where I’m the victim. To paraphrase another axiom, I have met the enemy and she is me.