This morning I walked up Mt. Misery again – this time with a backpack.
It was tough going. Much tougher than the weekend. Carrying that damn pack was the thing. It seemed to make the climb disproportionally harder.
But I need to train with a pack, because I want to carry a backpack on the tour.
I know we’ll have a van which can transport packs – and a lot of people will be availing themselves of that and walking just with daypacks, which makes a lot of sense! – but personally, I want to carry my stuff. But that’s just me.
Now I want to talk about the fly.
What made today’s walk particularly irksome was the fly.
I became aware of the fly about 3kms into the walk. It had settled on my face and seemed to be trying to burrow under my sunglasses, to get to my eye.
I shooed it away, and it came back almost immediately and tried to do the same thing – get under my sunglasses to my eye.
The damn fly followed me for about 4kms – halfway up Mt. Misery – and no matter how hard I tried to swat it away, it kept honing back in on me like a heat seeking missile.
So I started to consider this fly.
Didn’t it have anything better to do? There were a lot of kangaroos around this morning, and they were pooping everywhere. Surely kangaroo poop was more inviting than my eye?
What was so special about my eye? What did my eye have that kangaroo poop didn’t have? I would have thought kangaroo poop, with it’s exquisite smell, would be far more appealing to a fly.
But then again, what would I know about what appeals to a fly?
I couldn’t outrun the fly. Not with my backpack. And not with my knee. That wasn’t an option. And swatting it away didn’t work. Yes I should have put on repellant before I left home, but there’s been no flies around lately.
Then I started to think about the fly. See things from its point of view.
It followed me about 4kms. That must have taken it a long way from home. But do flies have homes? And if so, would it be able to find its way back home after it had stopped pestering me? Or would it get lost?
For a moment there I felt sorry for the fly. Lost and homeless.
And what if it didn’t have a home, then was it bored? Was that why it wanted to get under my sunglasses? Or was it seeking greater challenges than stationary kangaroo poop could offer? Was I dealing with an Alpha Male fly?
Was my moving form, with the occasional clumsy swat, the equivalent in fly-world to climbing Mt. Everest? Or walking on Mars?
Then my thoughts went to my eye. Why did it want to get at my eye? Why not up my nose, which I would have thought was a much more attractive proposition than my eye, particularly as I’d recently plucked my nasal hair.
This started to worry me. The eye. Why the eye?
Then it hit me!
It wanted to lay eggs in the corner of my eye! That’s why it was so determined. This had come down to something very primitive. Life and death. Survival of the species. It saw the corner of my eye as being the perfect incubator for all it’s eggs.
If I let that fly get in under my sunglasses, I would have maggots crawling out of my eyes.
Yes, it all made perfect sense now. This was why the fly was pursuing me so relentlessly. It wanted to propagate its species – it wanted to hatch little white wriggly maggots and the warm moist space in the corner of my eye was just perfect.
This was not just a random bored fly – this was a fly with a mission. A mission from God. To ensure that its youngsters – the little white wriggly maggots – got the best possible start in life. And what better start than out of the corner of a pilgrim’s eye?
I waited my moment.
I waited until the fly had settled on my face, had sneakily crept up to the bottom rim of the sunglasses, (as if I hadn’t felt it there!) until it had started to weasel it’s way underneath, and then –
I killed the little bastard.
It was messy. But not as messy as three hundred maggots crawling out of my eye.
Why am I telling you this story?
Because of walking meditation. Walking meditation would have you focusing on your breath, focusing on your footfalls, excluding all extraneous thoughts from your mind and finding calm in the gentle rhythmic cycle of footfall and breath, footfall and breath.
Walking meditation would have you examining your thoughts as they arose – considering them, pondering their relevance, and then discarding them so that your mind could become an empty vessel into which the Universe could pour Universal thoughts and insights.
Unfortunately I never got beyond the fly.
But maybe next time up Mt. Misery, I’ill get closer to a pure walking meditation experience. As long as I wear RID.