Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ode to a Fly


Today I watched a fly give itself a bath. Just like a cat. He took a moment from his travels to enjoy a moment upon the page of the book that I was reading. I admired his green and blue shimmer mid sentence as he cocked his head to look at me. After some sort of assessment that I wasn't going to try to kill him, he proceeded to extend his little fly mouth to his long legs and clean behind his head—or perhaps his ears. He was very thorough in his cleaning, extending his mouth to his legs repeatedly to get every little nook and cranny. He then proceeded to clean his backside with his back legs, brushing off dust and particles since his mouth would not reach his back legs.

Then he really blew me away. He took each wing between his back legs and cleaned them off by running them through his legs. It was amazing to see how far back he could reach with his legs. I looked out the window of the DC metro car that I was riding at the landscape of Arlington National Cemetery whirring by and marveled at that fact that amidst the speed at which we were traveling and amidst the madness that is DC rush hour, this little fly took a moment to land upon my book and give himself a bath.

“But flies are disgusting creatures!”, you exclaim. “Why didn't you kill it?” my parents asked as I told them when I arrived home. Flies have a bad reputation. They're known for spreading disease and indicating uncleanliness wherever they go. But here was this sweet little fly giving himself a bath just like a cat. Perhaps they are known as unclean because of where they end up. Flies are like the garbage men of the animal kingdom. Did you know that maggots were once used to clean out infected abscesses on humans? Flies do the dirty work—they work with the trash that we humans would like to forget about. They find worth in what has been discarded. And apparently they don't forget to clean themselves off afterward.

This little fly landed upon the pages of my book and reminded me that only humans get sucked up into the madness that is the rat race and rush hour. Zooming from here to there as quickly as possible, it's easy to loose sight of the wonder around us when we live in the city. No matter how solid you are in your spiritual practice or self care regiments, it's hard not to get sucked up into the madness that is city life. 

It's easy to forget to dust ourselves off when we engage in challenging work with others that we may be taking home with us. As a healer, I am learning the value of taking the time to ground and come back to center when working with others. To me this looks like taking a moment to burn a cleansing plant to clear the energy. Sometimes it looks like feeling my feet on the ground once again and sending my roots down to reconnect with the earth and my center. Other times it looks like literally washing my hands with soap and water if the work that I have been doing involves physical touch. I offer this to you and ask how do you clean yourself off when you have been engaging in work or activities where you may have picked up someones energy? 

So I say thank you to the fly. Thank you for seeing the value in what the rest of us see as trash. Thank you for helping me remember to appreciate the dirty work. Thank you for taking the time to clean yourself off helping me to remember to energetically dust myself off whenever I'm working with intensity. Thank you for showing me that even when everyone else is caught up in the madness there is always time to stop and take a min for self care.


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