Dictionary.com defines insidious as: 1. working or spreading harmfully in a subtle or stealthy manner; 2. intended to entrap; treacherous; 3. beguiling but harmful; alluring; 4. developing so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent.
It goes on to give some generic examples, as in an insidious plan, enemy, disease, pleasure, or misinformation. Terrorism, communism, ovarian cancer, television, and holocaust deniers are my easy examples. They simply put a more specific face to the concept. The list may beg for philosophical debate in some circles.
And That’s great if you love thinking about esoteric stuff. However, if you are more concerned about the mundane, practical routine of your life consider what happened to me this morning. I was staring out the window as we rural Albertans are wont to do, what with our big sky and dependence on the weather. It’s November 17 and we still don’t have any snow.
That is both good and bad. Good because it shortens our too-long winters. Bad because it deepens the drought plaguing much of the prairies. Really bad because it hasn’t covered all the unfinished projects and work ?out there? in our yard.
When I look out the window I see where last weekend we hacked down the 25-year-old cotoneaster hedge that flanked our patio on two sides. The openness appeals to me. What’s not so appealing is the presence of weeds (despite bark mulch, spot spraying, and digging up) now revealed. Oh sure, the little suckers appear dead and harmless. But I know better. Some are lying in wait ready to bolt upright from their roots come spring. For others, millions of seeds sown by wind and birds are waiting to germinate when the time is right. That’s insidious.
I finish gawking out the window and am hit with something else. I stepped on the digital bathroom scale. Many of you know the horror of which I speak. Without warning or any effort on my part (pun intended) several pounds have crept onto my five-three frame and settled mainly in the midriff and bottom areas. I’ve read, heard, and spoken enough words about food, exercise, motivation, diets, solutions, and causes to last me a lifetime. And I’m sick of it. Over the course of a lifetime I’ve gained and lost?but always more of the former and less of the latter. If there was ever an enemy that needed watching it is this one. It is sneaky in its approach, relentless in its attack, and virtually unbeatable in its staying power. That’s insidious.
So like a good little soldier the battle resumes. In spring we will use landscape fabric and gravel mulch in more areas to beat back the advance of weeds. As for me, I’ve already done my 45 minutes on the recumbent cycle and have a healthy lunch planned. Because like rust and aging, weeds and weight need to be beaten back, from where I sit.