Three ideas for today’s blog jostled in my head, but which to choose? It was one of those perfect mornings, just back from yoga, sipping coffee in a garden still wet from overnight rain, a balmy breeze, birds chirping happily as they flitted through the trees feasting on the array of delicacies rain brings, just perfect except for one little thing – a housefly determined to settle on my hand, my arm, my leg.
“Shoo fly,” I encouraged, with yogic intention. No response. “Go away!” I insisted, shaking him off my arm, but with equal insistence he simply settled back down.
Maybe it’s the coffee, I thought, and made the effort to get out of my chair and put my now empty coffee cup in the kitchen, but as soon as I sat down again, there he was. Maybe it’s the post-yoga sweat on my skin, I thought, but I’m not going to let one little housefly rush me into the shower before I’m ready. I closed my eyes. The three ideas for today’s blog still jostled in my head.
Even with my eyes closed I could feel the tiniest tickle of the housefly’s feet as it landed on my arm, flitted away for a moment before landing on my hand, flitted away again before exploring my wrist. How can it be that the tiniest creature with the lightest of feet can make its presence so enormously felt, even when I have my eyes closed to it?
I decided to zone out the housefly, and I achieved it for a whole minute or so. My eyes still closed, I imagined I was on the beach, the garden breeze now carrying salty sea air, the chirping birds now accompanied by seabirds in full cry, the children playing in the garden next door now building sandcastles on the beach. Wide awake and imagining, every sense alive, I marvelled – as I often do – at the power of the inner eye to allow us to be in two places at the same time. I was at home in the garden, and I was also on the beach. With my eyes closed, I could easily have been in either place. They were equal sensations. I was as totally on the beach as I was in the garden, but, unfortunately, so was the housefly.
All I had wanted was to enjoy the perfect morning while those three ideas for today’s blog settled into priority order. Then I would have my shower, switch on my laptop, and begin writing. The perfect plan for the perfect morning had been spoiled by one annoyingly persistent housefly jostling with perfection for my attention.
So I decided to give it precisely that. I lifted my hand to my face so I could examine the fly up close. He had stunning eyes, a sparkling, deep ruby red that had me transfixed for a few perfect moments. Then he flew away and was gone completely.
In his place there was silence where previously three ideas for today’s blog and one annoying housefly had jostled for attention on a perfect morning. In that silence emerged a new idea for today’s blog, and the realisation that the morning had been perfect all along.
Yes, it’s a true story, and such moments always delight me in the way they hold a mirror to the inner self with all its perfectly imperfect jostling perceptions of life. Just as dreams do. The key is to be awake to both.