This morning as I was planting some seeds for the garden this year. You know January is a great time of year to start seeds, especially herbs, which I use a lot of both in cooking and in my soaps. Even though I enjoy winter, I know that spring is coming quick and snow, sun, or rain the more I get started now and growing well, the easier the transition will be.
As I was planting, I was reminded of a common Orthodox story from Saint Paisios. He talks about how we should be the bee searching for sweet flowers and not like the fly who looks for unclean things. I understand the philosophical and theological metaphors that he is talking about. I can understand that this saint was saying look at the good in life and don’t dwell in the negative and believe that he has some good points. Living in the negative and looking for and seeking negative and sinful things in others is not a way to live, whether you are Christian or not. If we can’t move past the negatives in our life we will never behold the sweetness of the blessings we are given. Like I said it is a good and pretty straight forward metaphor.
But as I was planting my seeds and praying for good crops this year, mulling over this story, I came to the conclusion that the fly isn’t that bad. Yes flies are drawn towards “unclean” things…trash, rotting things, and poop… and this can seem pretty negative. I mean I’m not a big fan of hanging out with these things most of the time. But you know what all these things have in common; they help things grow. Flies might not be able to find the sweetest roses or the best iris, but they can take me to the best pile of manure, which will help grow the biggest tomatoes, or the best onions or some really sweet basil. Some flies even help with the composting process. They take what was unclean or even gross to us and turn it into something sweet for the bees and then for us to enjoy.
Whether you consider yourself a bee or a fly, there are positives to consider, some just might take a little more time than others to see the fruits of. Back to planting and garden plotting for me. What are you up to these January days?
Disclaimer: This is not a review of the Orthodox Church views or any of her saints. This is just one poor woman’s reflection on the benefits of flies.
For more information on St. Paisios and his reflection on the bee and the fly check out this post. http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.com/2009/12/flies-and-bees-advice-from-elder.html