I was a guest at a lakefront party a few weeks ago. Lake St. Clair to be exact, the big body of shallow water that straddles the Great Lakes’ Erie and Huron, yet has never been crowned as one of the five Great Lakes. Sitting under one of the two large tent structures that sheltered a huge hot tub, beer fridge and state-of-the-art BBQ among other beach party requisites, I thought the tied-back screen valances that rimmed the structures were evening defense for mosquito invasions. It seemed a little early in the season for those tiny tyrannical bloodsuckers but I left it at that.

What arrived a few hours later though was a scourge far worse than “skeeters”, one that I had long forgotten having moved away from this area several years ago. Against the backdrop of the beautiful orangey pink sinking sun I saw the first one. A miniature dragon as my childhood memory readily recalled. Soon the screens were undraped and before I knew it, we could hardly see the lake for the dense fog of menacing May Fly. In southern Ontario, we call them fish flies. For a brief moment I had my first of two Biblical tie-ins to this event, a visual of a locust plague descending on and devastating an unsuspecting farming community.

See, fish flies swarm by the millions, or billions probably, this night completely obscuring what would have been a magnificent moonlit skyMay Fly or fish fly. They assault every source of light, matte roadways in a coating as slick as black ice, plaster every surface in sight with their long skinny bodies while crunching underfoot as if one is walking on popcorn. The putrid stench seems to remain in the nostrils long after their carcasses have been carted away in garbage bags that line every street within a mile of the water.

Now held hostage within the confines of the tents, one of the partygoers loudly exclaimed, in utter exasperation after passing through the tiny unprotected area that bridged the canvas enclosure and the house having had hundreds land upon her, “These (expletive) fish flies have NO (expletive) purpose!”

That’s when my second Bible tie-in revealed itself, this one the first line of Ecclesiastes 3-1:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

The May Fly certainly has a purpose. Many in fact, as nature always has it. It serves as nutrient-rich food for walleye, bass and many other fish species as well as birds, spiders, other insects and amphibians. It is also an indicator of a healthy eco-system as this insect does not tolerate pollution. So when they amass for those three or four weeks every summer to fluster and infuriate, we can also choose to focus on simply being grateful for the validation that all is going pretty well in our environment.

But I ask, is the higher purpose of the 2,500 species that comprise the group of winged insects known as Palaeoptera, although pre-dating human existence by millions of years, and who live only one day – their season – and must during their 24-hour lifespan be hatched, mature, mate and then in turn lay eggs before their mission is over – just to serve to have us make the very most of every one day of our lives?

I mean, can you imagine the kind of life we would lead if we lived each day with the purpose of the May Fly?

Think about it the next time you let some innocent insects bug you:-)

© Rick Beneteau

Rick Beneteau Rick Beneteau is co-founder of Modern Day Mastery.
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