The Aphids Are Back

It’s been a while since I watered my indoor plants — it’s winter, they use less water. Some of them didn’t need any water, and it’s been two weeks. The others, those that needed water, were dry but not hurting yet. With one major exception. The celery.

They weren’t wilting, but the aphids were back. A couple months ago, when I had just brought them inside, I didn’t water for a while, and they got really stressed and infested with aphids. I moved them away from all my other plants and gave them heat and light and sprayed the aphids off two or three times a day until they were all gone. It took weeks (because I spray with water, not insecticides. I try to garden organically and chemical-free. It sometimes complicates life). I thought I had won. Obviously, it was a battle, not the war.

So they’re back in isolation, I’ve sprayed them off thoroughly, and we’ll see how it goes. I caught the infestation sooner this time, so I’m optimistic. Celery is very difficult to start from seed, at least for me. These plants are the five survivors (of twenty seeded) from my second year of trying (the first year all died immediately). So I really want to overwinter them. I know the room where I keep them is too cold, especially with the cold spell we just had. However, it’s the only place I can keep them. I think the aphids are coming partially because the celery is stressed. Luckily, they aren’t on any of my other plants in that room (which are almost all either poisonous tropicals or herbs — I think there’s a connection).

But in the midst of saving the celery, let me spare a thought for the aphids. They are just going along, minding their own business, and then they are drowning in great gouts of water. I have to kill them, to save the celery, but is that really the moral and ethical position? It’s the celery and my food and pleasure, or the aphids.

I think that life is full of death and sacrifices, and we must continually choose. The glory of being human is that we get to choose. The despair and the downfall of being human is that we get to choose. Yes, get to choose. We must choose, but we are also given that enormous power and ability to help us on our way. (Given? you might ask. Yes, given to us by the way things are.) And in our choosing, some day, we will see how not to choose. How to step off the Wheel and into . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  they call it nirvana. they call it nothingness. but a fish cannot conceive air, and we cannot conceive non-choice.

Yes, I do think about things like this when saving my celery from an aphid infestation. *grin*

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