The girls are off to school today. The weather is overcast and the house feels empty, peaceful, nice. I accidentally ate some chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. Well, the first two were on purpose. The third was an accident.
My dear little Tin Lizzie is slowing down lately. It seems she has stopped eating and she doesn't fly around anymore. I don't want to wax weird on the matter, but it makes me sad to see this. I realize you cannot compare the life of an insect to something more significant (can you?), but at the same time it's the furthest thing from hollow sentiment when I think what she means to me.
It has a lot to do with the intricacy of her makeup, for one thing: how her head burrows, her carapace expands, how her legs can move in so many unexpected ways, how she fits together in a complex, interlocking whole, yet is the sum of so many fascinating parts.
It's likely she abhors me, right? That my presence terrifies her? I mean, it can't be possible for a beetle and a human to be friends. But at night I sometimes hold her, stroking her back, and she seems so calm and content.
I hope it's not like the time I was a little girl and thought I was soulmates with one of our chickens, only to find she was gravely ill and too weak to resist me.
My deepest memory of being young was a sense of the endless wonder surrounding me: the seasons, the weather, the time of day, the sky, the air, the trees, and every living thing. I took it in without a filter--a constant, aching awareness of beauty and my place within it.
Looking at these beetles, watching Marshall, the fish, the snails...it's a pure conduit to that time of everything being new, of a mind filled with wonder and possibility, of reverence and awe.
No matter how long I live upon this earth, how old I may grow to be, this is how I prefer to look at things. Even with the beauty of wisdom and age, of understanding life's mysteries more deeply, of the familiarity which comes with time, this is still the approach which resonates in my heart: to look with wonder, to see things anew, to sense my place within it, to feel I am never alone or unknown, even if I was in a room filled with strangers or the only person for miles and miles around.