The Zen of Flies

Like everything else in life, living by the river has advantages and disadvantages. The gorgeous sunsets and serenity of the water are priceless, and I wouldn’t trade them in for any money in the world. The down side, however, is that you have to live with all the flies, bugs and creatures that come along with the water. The river fowl I adore, looking forward each morning the sound of the ducks and coots in the water, even the occasional chatty swan or goose. The flies, horse flies and bow flies, however, are difficult to accept.

Each year I promise myself that I will screen the windows next summer, and I have already purchased the screens as well, just need to get around to actually putting them into place. In the meantime, I have daily visits from big black bow flies (in the Philippines we call them bangaw) who are attracted by light. If I keep the balcony door open for the cats to go in and out, then it is inevitable that the darn flies and bees will drop by for a visit.

As I sat on the sofa the other day watching the incessant buzzing around of the flies I realised that there was nothing I could do about them, and killing one would simply attract a hoard of as an act of natural revenge or karma. I might as well accept them and make peace. The moment I decided to do that, it was as if the universe heard me and I was no longer bothered by the flies. Although I continued to hear and see them, I was no longer compelled to persecute them. They are part of my life, and I of theirs.

Acceptance and mutual respect – who knew that a gentle reminder would come from the humble and misunderstood fly. I still don’t like them, but I know that when the temperatures drop in the evening they will all retreat and depart from my home. It also helps that I set the electric fan on full blast.

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