If You Had One Day To Live?

28 Feb

Today, I present to you;

The Mayfly.

For immature Mayflies, or nymphs, the first stage of life begins underwater, where they remain for approximately a year before embarking on their ‘teenage’ stage. For some species of Mayfly, this fleeting stage of development and change lasts mere minutes before the Mayfly enters its third, most important and final stage of life; Adulthood. The length of this Adult life varies between species, but lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours (that is if they aren’t eaten first). Then, it’s game over- the Mayfly expires. During its short Adult life, the Mayfly does not feed, rather mating and laying eggs in order to continue the existence of the unique insects. Considering the lifespan of these extraordinary insects, its somewhat amazing that they are very numerous, existing everywhere but Antartica, the Artic and a few Oceanic islands.

So how does it feel to be the Mayfly? You wait a year for one single day of power, of freedom from the world you can’t escape. I find them fascinating. Time seems to move so fast and we all know it isn’t limitless. We are mortal. But there is a feeling that it could go on forever. The vast majority of us spend our days working, often in places we don’t like and doing things we don’t necessarily want to do and all in order to enjoy the few hours in the day that are ours and to spend precious moments of peace when we are frail and elderly.

In many ways we are like the Mayfly. Our childhood, at the time, seems to last forever and we long for the day we can spread our wings. Our teenage years seem shorter, more easy to recollect perhaps, but even so they pass in a blur. A fleeting moment of potential and promise, and ultimately change. It is our adult life that brings us to consider our past stages and many of us, I daresay all of us, long for moments from that time, to be once again powerless and vulnerable and ignorant of both. It is our adult stage where we must fulfill our role and potential and then, finally, end. Does the Mayfly acknowledge that this day is both his first and last? Does it matter? I feel sometimes we are lost in the questioning of it all, in the preparing, the planning and the waiting, that we lose the point. There is little need to discover the meaning of life if you do not acknowledge that you are alive. It is the single most powerful thing you can be. The Mayfly does not have the time to question and feel regret (even if modern science tells us he is not capable of this anyway), he just has time to live and to breed. I wonder if they know that their end is imminent, so imminent that they can touch it. Very few of us live each day in its entirety, instead planning and talking in weeks, months and years. How long have you been planning your journey/with your partner/in your job/living in your House? Four Years? Call it 1461 days. If we actually just lived one day, and I mean really lived it to the full, perhaps it’d seem longer.

One day to live life. But what a day that could be.


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