Recently I noticed a housefly crawling on the mirror in my bathroom. I was intrigued by it because it's body looked gold, much like the housefly in this photo:
It's interesting, but houseflies do not typically bother or annoy me. I realize flies are typically seen as filthy pests and carriers of diseases because that is, in fact, what they are. But I actually like the tickling sensation of a fly crawling on my hand. That's probably weird, but flies don't bother me. Spiders, on the other hand, which I know rationally are far more useful creatures than flies (specifically because they often eat them) freak me out.
In any case, I watched this "golden" fly crawling on the mirror for a few moments, and then I had to rush off to work. Later that evening, after I came home from work and was finally going to bed, I noticed this same housefly dead on the floor not too far from the toilet. I knew it was the same fly because I had examined it so closely when it had been alive just a few hours before.
And then something strange happened as I looked at this dead fly on the floor: I felt a feeling of compassion and sorrow for this now deceased creature. I truly felt a feeling of sadness for a common housefly. I guess the reason why is because as I stared at this fly only hours before, he or she was merrily promenading and cavorting on the surface of my bathroom mirror with no idea that just a few hours later, he or she would be cold-stone dead on the tile floor.
And then I guess I got to thinking how all of us are just like this little fly, happily living our lives and going about our business, never knowing for certain if today might be our last day on this earth. Death sometimes comes slowly, but for others it is complete, unforeseen, and tragic surprise.
I realize the lifespan of a common housefly is not that long relatively, and therefore I shouldn't be surprised that a once vivacious creature could be lifeless only a few hours later. Nonetheless, I was taken aback and briefly mourned the death of this insect.
I must admit his (or her) funeral wasn't terribly dignified. I picked the fly up with a piece of crumpled toilet paper and flushed it down the toilet. Nonetheless, the fly's death did get me thinking about my own mortality and the mortality of those I love and how short life really can be. For that I am thankful. It's nice to be reminded of the preciousness of life.
Thanks, little housefly. R.I.P.