The Mayfly: Sometimes called the dayfly. For most of her life – two to three years – she swims in a pond. Her wings grow all of this time. These beautiful wings are kept shut up in a tight case getting ready for one, precious day in the air.
This week, as my son and I studied science together, we read about this Mayfly.
My son didn’t understand why I cried when I read about the Mayfly. I suppose it was silly…but maybe I am just a bit emotional this week. Today I am burying a friend.
I think of her and I think of myself…and all of those I love. All of us flittering about in our habitats.
All of the time…growing and becoming more beautiful. Yet still not as beautiful as we will be even upon our death.
When the Mayfly is ready, she creeps out of the water and out of her old skin.
Now she is a dainty and pretty creature. But she does not need to live more than a day to perform her mission. The one thing she must accomplish is laying her eggs on the water. Her life’s work is quickly done.
I’m thinking this weekend about the Mayfly’s instincts to lay the eggs in her last hours of life. About my friend’s faith bearing fruit in the lives around her in her last hours. And about me. I don’t know if I’ll know when it is my last day. What if there is no warning? What if it just happens? I’m not worrying about it, but I’m wanting to truly live! I want to live each day like the last…like my friend…like the Mayfly. I don’t want my last to be a rotten day that I yelled at the kids or rolled my eyes at my husband. I want it to be a day of shedding my old skin and taking off!
Sometimes I’m tempted to think, like I did about the Mayfly, that it’s all a bit unfair. All of this work and toiling and beauty growing for…this? The last day. I thought that when I saw my friend for the last time. All of these talks we’ve had and rides to church. The living through the great depression, the birthing of children, the sitting in church on a pillow because her back hurt so bad. The joys and the growing…the struggles and coming to knowing. For this day. The last.
But it wasn’t all for nothing…to be put to an end upon her last breath. All of these things…her pain and struggles and blessings made her into a beautiful woman. A woman who was passing on her faith and glorifying God. And I saw it on that last day I was with her. I saw it when I looked in her eyes and she knew this was the end and instead of being angry…she smiled. She flew like the Mayfly and she left something for the future. Just as the eggs hatch, my friend’s faith is producing something in the rest of us and will. Until our day when we will become even more beautiful.
Like the laying of eggs, she has passed on her faith and now she truly is flying.