The rains have arrived!
We have been having fairly regular thunder showers through the last fortnight and, from the day following the summer solstice, these brief and furious showers have been a daily occurrence. But it was only late last evening that the rains in their full glory arrived at Savista.
It went on to rain steadily and heavily through the night, and by this morning water from our rooftop and courtyard had almost filled the water recharge structure! Stepping out at 6 am, we found the courtyard littered with carcasses of tiny long-winged insects that must have hatched within hours of the humidity setting in yesterday evening. They had spent the night trying to – and succeeding in – hurl(ing) themselves at the sole courtyard light that had been left on through the night. There were also the dead and dying bodies of crickets which, too, must have hatched in response to the rains and done themselves to death. Amazingly, until dinnertime last night, we had not sighted a single one of these two insect forms over the past almost 12 months!
Drinking coffee in the poolside lounge this morning with the doors wide open and the fresh clean and cool breeze pouring in, we were able to enjoy the spectacle of several varieties of birds – the normally reclusive sparrows, kingfishers, mynas among them – visit the courtyard to feast on the readymade breakfast! How happy they looked! But within no time, annoyingly for us, swarms of crickets arrived as well – to mourn their dead? – their twitching feet causing them to jump and hop like neurotics. And they did not confine themselves to the courtyard where their dead lay but tried to take over the lounge as well.
As the rains intensify, the luxuriant insect life on the farm will bloom and prosper. Insects no doubt play their own useful roles in the natural order of things. And it will take all our equanimity, recognising that we too are part of that natural order, to school ourselves to live in their midst without harming them. As the Buddha advised, we must practise “metta bhava” ( goodwill towards all living beings) with greater intensity than usual. At least while the rains last!