06 November 2011


Sometimes the oddest things will generate time spent in deepest thought. Today I was accomplishing some cooking. On my stove cooling as I write this are the following food items: Lentil, ham and split pea soup; barley chicken soup; browned bison and grass fed ground beef with sautéed onions, bell pepper and garlic; some basil tomato sausages and a couple more incidentals. I went shopping at a Whole Foods store yesterday and because it is so far from my home, I buy more fresh food than I can consume in a couple of days. I generally like to come home and cook things up and either freeze them or extend the time that they are considered good by cooking them and then nuking them as I go through the week.

I was thinking about the mess I was making and if I would have the energy to clean up after myself or if it would have to wait until morning. That led me down a trail of thoughts which can be dangerous for me. I can start focusing on all the things I can't do and how I need to find new ways to do old familiar things, which in turn can render me resentful and bitter. So before the bitterness could come, I starting focusing on things for which I am grateful. First thing I thought of? The change of seasons has killed off the fruit flies.

When I lived in Australia the joke was that the national salute was a series of waves in front of your face, warding off flies. There are a ton of flies in Australia-something I wasn't used to and didn't much care for, probably because I am such a yacker I swallowed more than one. Ick! I hoped never again to live in a place where keeping houseflies away is a full time occupation. Years later my nemesis on the premises are the fruit flies that plague Kentucky. During the summer they can be seen hovering over the onions and darting among the fruit at the local grocer. There are so many you have to inspect for soft rotten parts of the food you are going to buy. Inevitably they come home with you. The stalk you in the kitchen. They follow your coffee cup, they sneak into the bathroom and circle your head while you are otherwise disposed and unable to contest their presence. They are annoying to the nth degree.

You may be thinking that I hate fruit flies. Ha! I hate them so much that I anticipate their demise with great joy. The coming cold kills lots of creepy things, ticks and flies are two of my favorites. I was transported by the joy of realizing their death had come. Thinking I was having a holy "oh" face moment, I thanked God for killing the dagnabbit fruit flies. My mind skipped from that bit of good Christian behavior to singing the third chapter of Ecclesiastes better know to folks my age as the Byrds tune, "Turn, Turn, Turn". I was singing and rejoicing and thinking, "Oh yeah, I am a great and clever Christian!"

And then I started thinking about my seasons; my own mortality. What sort of fruit will I leave behind? Will I ever amount to more than being a nuisance like the fruit fly? Do I really appreciate the different seasons in my life? What changes have happened in me? Anything appreciable?

The thoughts got deeper. I started assembling experiences, traumas and delights, into a time line, trying in vain make sense of things and soon I couldn't remember what had facilitated the whole process. It wasn't until I was sitting in my recliner hours later that I looked at my dog and said, "Fruitflies." She thinks I am brilliant.

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