So it is Winter right now. If you are reading this later, then cast your mind back to the darkest depths of Winter. Brrrrrr! It is bloody cold and even though we marked the passing of the Solstice in Belgrave with the Lantern Parade, luring back the sun – ‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ Lantern stole the show this year. But I am getting off track … so even though we’ve past through the darkest part of Winter – the cold still persists.
These conditions have a couple of effects. Firstly everyone gets introspective and sometimes this tips over into Depression. So I am busy at work. Secondly due to a combination of self reflection and low temperatures, everyone gets sick. It was Peppermint for everyone this year because – well people didn’t want Ginger and were too nervous about Chilli. Thirdly we all want to stay inside by the fire and when I say all – I mean the wildlife as well.
So the other night, I’d lit the fire, and a few candles sprinkled about the room, turned on the mood lighting and was waiting for Clangers to return home. I think I had soup on the stove, maybe a bit of cheese cut at the ready. I had some fascinating reading material on something like the use of Peppermint to dissolve Gallstones, or other similarly riveting topic. I’d just arranged the blankey to cover the annoying gap between the top of my socks and the bottom of my tracky daks, the bit that catches the Winter draft when … it happened.
First I heard in the ceiling, under our roof that annoying scampering and scratching sound that signals – the wildlife are in residence. I tried to mentally ignore this. Denial is the best policy. I groaned internally – dimmely recalling the trauma of putting RSPCA approved salt rat deterrent pellets in the roof last year. The most recent close encounter with Divorce. Oh dear. This occurs every time some kind of household maintenance task is attempted by Clangers and myself, as a ‘team’. Imagine Clangers in the roof somewhere fastened with string in manner of diver off the Bass Strait working in darkness or better yet Theseus trying not to encounter the Minotaur and me calling helpful tips like, “Did you get them yet? Are they dead? What’s happening? Is there a hole in the roof? Are you alright? Where are you? What’s going on?!”
The trauma of the last time we attempted to make our roof creature proof was encouraging me to focus on dissolving Gallstones. T’was preferred. But then, I heard scratching again – which stopped. I was lured in to believing the illusion of soft candlelight, warm fire, soup on stove when … I heard the sound which will rob the present moment of even the most mindful mediators. BuuzzzZZZZ!
So bossy! Oh Bugger. There’s a bloody Fly. I hoped I was wrong. Back to the gallstones. BuzzzZZZZ Again! Then I saw the beast. Flying confidently around my candlelit anointed sanctuary of peace prepared carefully for soup and snuggles. Fly landed on the wall. Sat there looking at me. Shifted his weight surveying me – like they do. I am sure I hear him say, “Yeah, you and what army?” Then snigger! Rude!
The key to this battle, I find – in case you ever face down this scrawny little opponent – is remember Mr Miyagi in ‘The Karate Kind’, the original and become ‘one with the Fly.
Embrace the Beginner Mind. Breath to bring your mind and attention to the present moment. Make friends with the moment. Feel in to the moment. Be in it. Let the Tao move the rolled up newspaper you have whisked out of the wood bucket near the fire artfully evading the gaze of Fly.
Then with deft purpose – swat! Be one with the movement. And smack the smug bastard! Let there be no doubt! Of course this is the evolved outcome where you accept the teaching of Fly in manner of Mr Myiagi wielding chopsticks. Prior to reaching this stage of enlightenment, there is the chaotic and less elegant leaping around the house chasing the tyrant with a lot of crazy swatting and crashing in to furniture.
Eventually, after the inevitable meeting of the Authentic Self, both me and Fly are one – Fly was defeated and no more. I returned to my chair in front of the fire, rearranged the blankey over the gap between sock and tracky pants and began enlightening myself once again on the dissolving of Gallstones.
Then, just as in life, when the opponent has only been wounded but is not finished, the second enemy – Power – returned with force. I heard that sound that shatters serenity everywhere, BuuuzzZZZ! The beast was back. Fly sailed nonchalantly down the stairs as if he owned the place. Landed with a confidence that bordered on smug, fixed himself on the wall, casually sauntered around to face me, rubbed his limbs together with glee and I am sure he said again, “Yeah you and what army?”
So this went on round for round, around the house, around about 20 times before Clangers entered the arena and received the breathless update. Clangers sagely announced, “Something must have died in the roof”, hmmmmm – yes? Which he followed with, “Can’t be we put so much of that rat stuff up there …”
Note about the RSPCA rat approved stuff – it is salty, so it makes friend mouse and friend rat thirsty, and they they bugger off down the back to the creek or possibly the garden tap, or a handy drip somewhere to drink. Main point – they leave the roof. This is the theory. But in practice – they need the SatNav. They get lost. And then stuck. And then … kaputsky.
I regaled Clangers with tales of my victories … x 20 smacking Fly with rolled up newspaper. Feeling confident and expecting applause, possibly a comrade in arms but oh no. Clangers says,
“Are you sure you are actually getting them?” I said,
“What you think the same one is hopping out of the bin and flying around?”
In the sea of possibilities, I guess it could have gone that way. Clangers who assumes a certain level of incompetence when it comes to myself and combat of any kind, shrugged and followed with, “There’s so much of that stuff in the roof.”
This resulted in a group inspection of the bin followed by a small training seminar on effective smacking and many more opportunities to ‘be one with Fly’.
So for your enjoyment here is a Miniscule Moment about Fly thwarting Spider, again.