A ladybug pooped on me.
I had gone to my sister’s house for some porch chatting and hot tubbin’.
Going to my sister’s house seemed imperative that day. She and I were still reeling from our parent’s divorce from a marriage of forty one years. We had wondered if they would ever divorce. I thought that I would be relieved, but I learned that you do not know how you will feel in advance of a thing. Both my sister and I were much sadder and angrier than we had bargained for.
I had helped starting a classical school, and I was exhausted. Baby schools are beautiful things, but they sometimes shriek, cry, and spit up in the night.
So I went to Natalie’s for rest, and to be with someone who shared all the history I knew. Someone who was there for it all.
When I got outside, a tiny ladybug was struggling in the water. As a former six-year-old, I knew exactly what to do: I scooped that insect up.
I climbed into the hot tub with the lady, and she seemed to take a little nap for a mo’ as I decided where the optimal seating position was. As I settled down, she started drying herself off…shaking, stretching legs, unfurling wings. For awhile, it seemed as if one filament of a wing was fatally adhered to her shell. I looked away a bit, and when I looked back at my fingernail, she had deposited a pinhead of viscous brown.
The truly humble of this world; moms, monks, Kermit the Frog…they would not need to crow to the world of the solace they offered a bug.
But as I looked at her, I saw the cherry red shine of shell against the backdrop of turquoise water, the green plastic glass with the comforting beverage, and I was truly and fully present. She gave me a gift. She gave me the gift of rest that I was so much in need of.
The gift of being a place that a ladybug can get herself back together after a harrowing experience on the high seas.
The gift of being six for awhile.
The gift of slowing the hell down and thinking of someone else’s benefit besides my own.
After a good twenty minutes, she flew away, leaving me the brown…and a blessing.
Like I’m not “spiritual.” I just practice being a good person on Facebook.
Assistant Ed: Judith Andersson / Ed: Bryonie Wise