The fly in the soup. The ant at the picnic. The silverfish in the shirt drawer. The mosquito at three o'clock in the morning. Pests is what we have come to call them, as if that were their proper name, and it is not hard to see why. Even the most tenderhearted among us exterminates them without a qualm, and my guess is that St. Francis himself would understand and forgive.

It takes a microscope to see them in all their indescribable intricacy, but even the naked eye can see enough to know that no less than ourselves, they are part of the great web of life and that even the tiniest and most tiresome among them, as also among us, is precious beyond telling.

~originally published in Beyond Words