It’s funny the things that stick in your memory…I remember all kinds of random things that seem so insignificant, and yet I can’t remember important stuff like people’s birthdays, phone numbers, their NAMES…
One of the random things I remember from my childhood is receiving a card from my Sunday school teacher and my Sunday school class when my family was about to leave town. It was one of those fun cards where everyone had a turn at writing their own personal message, and I clearly remember my teacher’s parting words. In tiny, neat, teacher-writing, he wrote: “Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like apricots”.
I remember laughing my head off at that…I think it was my first up-close encounter with that kind of witty joke you have to think about, if only for a second. I liked it a lot, because it made me feel special and smart that I understood it, being the ripe old age of ten and all…It made me feel special, too, that my teacher knew I would get his little joke. It was so important to me that people understood me and liked me for who I was. I don’t think much has changed...
We all want that, don’t we?
What’s also funny about these random, insignificant memories is how often we are reminded of them. I think if I live to be a hundred I’ll still think of that card and that joke every time I see an apricot, and it will always make me laugh because I will always remember how good I felt to be so loved and appreciated by my Sunday school class.
Fruit flies…I never saw many fruit flies in my life till I moved to Far North Queensland, where the weather is perpetually hot and steamy and the fruit flies, they are a-plenty.
I can understand why fruit flies would want to live there, too. The fruit alone is more succulent there than anywhere in Australia (says me, the fruit-succulence-expert). I’ve been away from Queensland for a little over a year now and I miss it…Sure, the weather takes a little getting used to but the people are so genuine and open and caring. They take the time to get to know you, learn to understand you and love you for who you are.
North Queensland gave me an idea of what it might be like to bring a little heaven to earth…of creating a little “Utopia”, if you like.
When you’re loved and accepted like that, like I was in Sunday School and in North Queensland, it makes you want to smile. More than that, it makes you want to be a better person, to spread the love! When you’re loved like that, you start becoming a better person almost without trying, because the love gives you a certain confidence. Soon people become attracted to you (dare I say it, like fruit flies to apricots?!), and they bask in the glow that is your happiness. Then they, in turn, start spreading the glow further afield, until, VOILA, heaven-on-earth (or a little piece of it anyhow).
I’ve come to the conclusion that we should be more like the fruit fly. Though they are parasites (and okay probably germy little creatures), at least they know where the goods are. We should stop sticking our noses in the trash like your average garden-variety-fly, and start following the sweet perfume that leads to good, nutritious fruit.
We should be like Queensland people, at least the ones I know; Loving, genuinely loving, and embracing people, glowing with the light of joy and attracting others to us so that they, too, can share in the goods.
I guess every random memory is not so useless after all…it’s twenty years, give or take, since I got that card (time really does fly), and just now this analogy is dawning on me…So here’s to fruit flies, apricots and all the life-lessons they bring. May the path of your life, and the talents of the fruit fly, lead you to much sweet, succulent, Queensland fruit.
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