So, yesterday I was walking my dogs, minding my own business, listening to Marianne Williamson tell me how to open my heart and my dog did what dogs do on walks. So I grabbed my plastic bag, scooped it up and I walked to the nearest trash can to make a deposit. Well to my great surprise, when I lifted the lid, inside was crawling with maggots. You heard me, crawling with maggots! A sound of sheer terror erupted from my gaping mouth and I dropped the lid splattering the maggots and launching several severed half maggots on to the front of my sweatshirt. My lips curled, I fought back tears and the vomit that was rising in my throat and I quickly flicked them off and wiped my hands on a tree, then a leaf, then the ground, then another plastic bag, then my pants, then my sweatshirt. I had to remind myself to breathe. Holy cow! Yuck, gross, awful, nightmare! And of course I was far from my house, because this stuff never happens when you’re near home, when you’re near Lysol. (Remember the sh*tstorm?) So I shook my hands out and bargained with the bile rising up in my belly, tugged the leashes on my nonplussed dogs and headed back on my path to my house to sanitize every last inch of my body, clothing, aura, you name it - it was getting washed.
And, because I believe there are no accidents, on my way back home I thought - why maggots? Why me? Why today? I mean - maggots - they are just about universally disliked. And what the hell? Why the hell are they here? What the hell are they doing? Big deal - they are the larva that turn into house flies. I hate house flies. Hell, I hate the word larva! And come one, it’s not like they’re fuzzy caterpillars that one day turn into gorgeous butterflies pleasing the world and fluttering around in flowers. Maggots are found in decaying matter. Eating dead stuff. Death. Dying. Yuck. Let's face it - they’re born ugly. They eat dead stuff then they metamorphose into ugly, annoying flies. They go from bad to worse. So, okay, fine - the circle of life stuff. Okay, okay. They’re an important part of any ecosystem and they serve a good purpose blah, blah, blah. But can’t they do it when no one’s looking? Why do we, why did I, have to see that?
I was listening to someone the other day talking about Nature. They said Mother Nature is the ultimate unconditional giver. And with every step I take on my glorious morning walks I know that to be the truth. Nature, she is giving. She gives the trees, the flowers, the grass. Her beauty is all right there in front of me and and she asks nothing of me in return. Whether I am there to see her beauty or not she still provides it. She gives and she gives and she takes nothing back. She expects nothing. She just keeps giving, trying. No matter what is done to her she is always trying to find a way to continue her pursuit to give. But today, walking back to the cleaning products at my house I figured something out that is embarrassingly obvious but I hadn’t given it any thought before. And that is Nature - she ain’t always pretty. She isn’t always wearing all her make up and done up to the nines like a majestic pine tree or a dogwood in full bloom. Sometimes the hard work needs to be done and she needs to get down and dirty and deal with it. Sometimes she needs to deal with death and the dying and she needs to roll her sleeves up, dig deep and find a way to deal, to clean up the mess, to regrow, to continue onward. When there is a job that needs doing she doesn’t care what she looks like, she just gets in there and gets it done. Well, now, how beautiful is that?
So, I got home and I washed my hands with scalding hot water and pumpkin scented soap from Bath & Body Works and I peeled my clothes off and got into my uniform of jeans and a sweatshirt. My sheer disgust at those wriggling little white worms had abated. In fact, my feelings had turned full stop. I felt grateful for them. For maggots! I even felt bad for the couple who gave their lives when I slammed that lid shut. Oh dear me! Grateful/sorry for maggots?! What’s happening to me? Was I really? Yes, I was. And I discovered to my great surprise that my heart is open! Marianne Williamson can you hear me? I'm loving. I’ve found love and appreciation for maggots. Maggots! I get it! I’m understanding how this opening my heart to love thing works. But, please, do not get me wrong, I’m not looking for new pets. I’m not looking to invite a little maggot colony into my herd or anything like that. I'm not completely insane! But I can say that I am truly, genuinely grateful not only that maggots exist but that I was lucky enough to take my morning walk and witness them. And furthermore and most importantly - I’m grateful for the bond that deepened with my girl Mother Nature and my greater understanding of how she operates. Vanity has no place in getting the job done. She’s got more depth than that. She is the majestic Redwood and she is the tiny maggot doing its job to help ensure all the rest of it happens. And she is there, giving and giving, to all of us, asking for nothing in return.
So, I sat down at my computer to write, and out of curiosity I looked up the definition for maggots.
1. a soft bodied legless larva of certain flies.
2. Archaic: an odd fancy, whim.
What the - ? Well, now, isn’t that just perfect?! So, you’re a maggot and you’re either a dead flesh eater or you’re a sudden desire to change your mind? How did that come about? Now, I just don’t know but I think that might be fodder for another blog. For today, I think I will simply bask in the expansive beauty, wild creativity and sense of humor that is Mother Nature and the English language and know how incredibly blessed I am to have witnessed some of God’s creatures whimsically doing as intended and to have had a minute to wonder why.