Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How many fruit flies can dance on the head of a pin?

My husband has a penchant for muscadine grapes. Perhaps I should be fair in that statement; we both have a penchant for muscadine grapes. From what either one of us can tell their sticky sweet tartness is about the only redeeming aspect of fall. We take regular trips to the farmers market in hopes we'll see those gorgeous globes of fabulousness, and if found, will finish off whatever we buy in one 'sitting'. So far this autumn we'd been unable to find even a single grape, much less the quarts we were craving. Then, as I was leaving my sisters home two weeks ago, I passed a street vendor with quart after delicious quart of muscadines glowing from his offering table. So naturally, I swung my car around in traffic, parked in the mud, and tromped through the rain to get to said bounty. He had 6 quarts left, and I took every single one. I honestly can't tell you how much they cost. Like some kind of grape junkie I grappled in my purse and spilled whatever dollar amount the man quoted on his table, and took off with my six precious quarts. Like any good junkie I broke into my cache immediately, and in my haste, I may have dropped a grape...or two...in my car. What harm could a grape...or two...really do? Then today, I got the answer to my question.
Now, it really has been two weeks. Those six quarts are LONG gone. Today I got in my sporty little car, and hovering to my left, I saw a swarm. At first panic set in, because anyone who knows me knows that I am an absolute magnet for mosquitoes. Luckily, it wasn't mosquitoes. It was fruit flies. Dozens of cute little hovering fruit flies, and they were doing their hovering directly over my passenger seat. Were they hitching a ride somewhere? Had they mistaken me for a little fruity taxi? Surely not. So I did what anyone would do-immediately set out for a search for what on earth could be the source of fruit flies. My car is clean, the floors are vacant of refuse, and there were no apparent signs of fruit anywhere. Don't fruit flies come from fruit????
Then it hit me, the grapes! The one...or two...little grapes had brought with them dozens of fruit fly larva. I suppose they come from larva-do they not? They had to still be under my passenger seat, fermenting away, and bearing fruit of their own. Life is amazing, is it not? It will thrive almost anywhere, even under my car seat, all the time. Isn't it seemingly miraculous that we live on a planet which is 93 million miles from a ball of fire, which is neither too close to cook us alive, nor too far so that we freeze. Life is delicious, and perilous, and precious. It should be protected, and valued, and cherished. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, as is all the world around us. We have been commissioned with the protection of life; the lives of those around us, the life of the planet, and the one life we have each been granted. Cherish each moment, and cherish each life, no matter how seemingly insignificant-the fruit flies will thank you.

2 comments:

Teach said...

The more I study the scientific explanations of our existence, the more convinced I am that God exists. How can all of this be an "accident"? How can the fact that we breathe, and move, and think, and reason, and love be the result of some cosmic coincidence?

I will not dispute that the birth of the universe began with a "big bang" (I am sure when God created all of this, some sort of noise had to happen). Nor will I dispute that species adapt and change over time due to changes within their ecosystems. And I will even tell you the truth - that Darwin NEVER said we came from apes.

It is simply impossible for me to know what I know about the chemical and biological building blocks and bases for living organisms and believe it was all an accident/coincidence. Anymore than I can fathom the possibility of throwing hundreds of little random parts into a bag, shaking it and "coincidentally" or "accidentally" having a watch appear. Even the smallest, least complex, simplest, single-celled organism has millions of components. and the universe is slightly larger than a paper bag.
"Fearfully and wonderfully made" - unquestionably!

HeltonTexas said...

Laine,
If your craving is very intense, my MeMaw has a million muscadines and I'm sure she'd love to share because she can't pick them and they go to waste. She lives near Maumelle.