How many times in your life have you heard the old adage “When it rains, it pours?” I have been wearing extreme rain gear now going on a month. If I was one of those people who buckled under adversity, I would have surrendered weeks ago. Instead, I work hard to find the humor in it all. And sometimes, finding humor is a lot of work. Thoughts of human resilience initiated a mind-bend that grew into a research mission. It all started when I read an intriguing fact about the mosquito.
Did you know mosquitoes survive being hit by a raindrop, even though it is 50 times their weight? That equates to a human being hit by a bus. It is the highest ever recorded acceleration that animals have survived. We all know that a mosquito is able to perform evasive maneuvers in a fraction of a second when attacked by a person (I am an expert in this field). I have also learned this pesky little irritant has modified their rear wings to form a kind of rocker that allows them to stabilize during flight. Pretty impressive for a member of the fly family. But it does raise the question can they see the raindrop coming? Are they smart enough to stay out of the rain?
Okay, so my analogy is a bit disjointed but even mosquitoes face adversity. The more I learn about them the more I am impressed with their ability for critical thinking. Mosquitoes can identify when a blow near them could have killed them and learn the smell of that attacker to avoid it later. If only humans could be so smart. So, when evaluating critical thinking, if mosquitoes adapt to their living environment with cerebral actions that directly influence their physical actions and decisions, they are smarter than we think.
Now let me blow that theory out of the water. While living in Maine, not far from Sebago Lake, I battled mosquitos I could saddle and ride. My search for a solution ended with the purchase of a machine called the Mosquito Magnet. It worked on the premise that the smell of the carbon dioxide we exhale is what attracts mosquitoes. An internal fan in this contraption blew over a pod of chemicals emitting carbon dioxide making the tiny little biters think they were approaching a human meal. Once they flew inside, they were caught in a net and could not escape. Poor little creatures cannot fly backward. It was a miracle machine. I had to empty that net of thousands of dead mosquitoes daily. I was able to spend many a night on my patio without fear of becoming a mosquito’s main course.
So, what is my point? Even though we humans may have the sense to come in out of the rain, sometimes there are factors that dupe us into believing we are safe for the moment. We are only as strong as our mind allows us to be. It is no different in the animal kingdom. A single ant can carry up to 50 times its body weight when needed. A flea can jump distances 200 times their body length – equal to a human jumping as high as the Empire State Building. No matter our intellectual capacity all of God’s creatures survive when they need to survive.
After a body-testing fall, exorbitant car repairs, an exhaustive four-hour dog clipping and bathing event, and finding one small rack of baby back ribs now exceed $25.00 at the grocery, I am officially removing my rain gear. If a mosquito can survive a raindrop war, I can tackle whatever is thrown at me. Go ahead world, test my patience. And if patience is not a world virtue, then I will hope if it is intent on killing me, it will at least do it with kindness. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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