Serendipity-I am a believer. Luna moths have crossed my path twice in the past eleven years and have signified transitions in my life.
When I headed out for my walk the other morning, I took a path I call the Labyrinth. I could walk the 5 miles with my eyes closed, backwards, and in heels. It's typically a time when I pop my earbuds in, release the sounds of the world, and listen to a podcast to spur some new thought.
Three miles in, the words in my ear had to do with atheism, eternity, and why so many of us believe in an afterlife. The podcasts are great for this, Another Name for Everything with Richard Rohr, https://cac.org/podcasts/universal-christ-in-deep-time/ The discussion about deep time left me in a mournful, hopeful state of mind because the afterlife has been an intricate part of the fiber of my soul.
I must believe in a world beyond the physical if I am to meet my dad.
This handsome, striking individual left the physical world 4 months before I came in to it. I've written him into a three-dimensional human being, giving him a laugh on the page, a balding spot at the back of his head, and a nickname that he might have called me, 'Little Biscuit.' I imagine him running a weak hand across my mom's belly and whispering all of his cowboy wisdom through her to me.
I nearly stepped on this beautiful little being on Monday. She is a Luna moth. Eleven years ago, when the world seemed to be crashing into all of our dreams during the Great Recession, another Luna moth lay dying on the bridge between our past and our future, from Ohio to Kentucky. In the present moment, it's been a both/and sort of world to live in. People are sick. People are dying. And, people are connecting in new ways. People are creating in new ways. Change is coming.
It's a long time since this picture. My grandpa took it, likely the day I was baptized. It's as if my mother were looking to present me to my dad. I hold on to that with a fierce knowledge that the Divine will not betray me.
A quick search of the Luna Moth brought up a National Geographic article for kids. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/insects/luna-moth/
These sweet little moths begin as caterpillars who eat the leaves of hickory, sweet gum, paper birch and walnut trees; my favorite. "After about a month of filling up on these plants, the caterpillar builds a cocoon. The insect lives inside for about three weeks, then emerges as a moth."
Luna moths have no mouths. They DON"T EAT. They live about a week, if they can disorient the bats that want them for dinner. The kite-like trails of their wings become a swirl of sound that throw the bats off. I suppose the two moths I've been gifted with in the past eleven years died in the places I found them, at the end of their 7 days.
I'm on the back side of 50 and wag my finger at my children, warning them to be nice to me because I plan on making it to 102. And when the day comes, I pray for 2 things, that luna moths will escort me to the barn where I imagine my dad tinkers and readies a couple of horses for us to go riding.
I'll eat today, unlike the moth. I'm hungry for so much more. Ravenous, actually, for what life will offer me in the next 39 years.