RUSHVILLE — I’m willing to learn. Every day. From a textbook. Maybe from a co-worker. I might even learn something from a stranger. However, I’ve never considered learning from a fly. Yes, I said it. You heard me correctly. I said a fly.
I climbed in my car on a gorgeous, end-of-summer morning. Following my standard routine, the sunroof opened, the passenger window was brought halfway down, the radio was adjusted to what fit my mood, sunglasses in place, and I’m ready for the ride. Square in front of my line of sight a fly landed on the outside of the windshield. Now this wouldn’t normally be cause for a journal entry. Typically, I’m finding much more significant happenings or thoughts to put on paper. Yet, it was what the fly didn’t do that first intrigued me, and then it was what he did do that caused my mind to ponder a deeper lesson.
I had anticipated that once I put the car in gear this tiny pest would fly away and not cross my mind again. Instead of my prediction, a most curious thing happened. As if preparing for the assault of a lifetime, all legs (or arms or whatever flies have) were spread as wide as possible to establish a firm foundation. He (or she) was holding on for dear life.
I proceeded away from the house still expecting that any moment he (or she) is going to realize something that’s evidently slipped from memory, “Hey, I can fly”. I’m being serious here. Why the heck is a fly afraid to take wing and fly? Still, securely grasping the glass, we journey off of the side street and onto the highway. Now, I’m going to admit at this point that I initially didn’t pick up regular speed of 58-60 mph. I eased gradually still anxiously watching for my subject to release this grip and find peace in flight. When it again became apparent that this wouldn’t happen, I progressed to my normal speed. With legs quivering slightly and wings seeming to be a multi-layered parachute that longs for release, he (or she) remained steadfast. Are you kidding me? How long will he (or she) endure this?
I turn into the parking lot of my destination and determine to photograph this strange beast. Clearly, this is worth remembering. But the minute I put my car in park, he (or she) vacates the ride for more familiar airspace.
The remainder of the day, and in multiple days since, I contemplated countless aspects of this seemingly silly episode. Here is the beginning of my discovery.
Numerous times in my life I’ve left like nothing more than a fly on a windshield. I have intentionally (or unintentionally) landed somewhere and discovered my surroundings were unfriendly at best and hostile at the worst. Possibly due to my stubborn nature, I remained there in an effort to prove a point. On the other hand, it may also have been a situation of simply being to stinking scared to just let go. (Of which I would not admit.)
There I am, with all of this beautiful, wide open space before me and I’m motionless. Stuck! Many times I see this fine line between digging in, being firm in the foundation that’s been established, and proclaiming victory at all costs, and trusting enough to let go and stop trying to control everything. UUUUGGGGHHHH!
I’m fairly certain I’ll continue to evaluate, analyze, pick apart, and journal about this brief encounter. There’s no sense in wasting a perfectly humorous story. Maybe I’ll share those thoughts, too. Until that time, look for those teachable moments that often pass us by. Yes, even from a fly.