When the Wind Blows Up, Just Stay– Lessons from the Luna Moth

How in the world did that vine end up clear over there on that deck spindle, I wondered as I neared the sliding doors leading out onto the deck.

Wait.  What the fuck is that?!?!

Upon closer inspection, I grew fearful.  A large, terrifying-looking bug had attached itself to the deck and I was frightened, somewhat for myself, but more so for Bella (my Rottweiler) who had joined me.  Scared that she might get bit by whatever this magnificent creature was, I sent her back inside while I continued to investigate.  What is this, I wondered.

I posted the picture to Facebook and asked that very question.  Soon, I would come to learn that it was a Luna Moth.  A born researcher, I then turned to all things Google to find out whether or not this was something to be scared of…and what I found out was astonishing, surreal, and symbolic and poignant…

“In spiritual terms, they signify rebirth and new beginnings. Because they gravitate towards light in the darkness of the night, the lunar moth are seen as a symbol of spiritual transformation, of heightened awareness, and a striving towards truth.”

Say what?!?!

And so I returned back to the deck to observe this gift of nature.  I sat, wrote, and cried while watching how it clung to that railing…and here’s what I wrote…

I want to touch it, but I wouldn’t dare.  Not yet, anyway, for this creature is far too stunning to disturb and risk its flying away.  its antennae, like feathers of a down pillow, its back like a fluffy bird, its wings spread wide, with their appearance drawing such a resemblance to the vines growing in the flower box just above it.  Those thin wings, so delicate, paper-like even, like a sheet of vellum even, they flutter when I draw closer, as though this creature is frightened or nerved, just as was I upon first discovery.  This moth is a creature of the night, yet here she stays, in broad daylight.  She just STAYS, clinging to this rail.  Its markings seem painted, in perfect symmetry.  I draw my finger to her delicate wings and she spreads them further, revealing another set of markings that are just as fantastic as the others. I tenderly touch her furry back and delicate wings, and while my touch is foreign to her, she flutters and STAYS.  Surely she is not comfortable with my human touch.  Surely between my touch and the bright light of day, she must feel outside her element.  And yet, she STAYS.  The wind picks up and blows under her wings, revealing her long, graceful body.  And against that breeze, she clings to that rail; she does not allow that wind to carry her away or cause her to fall.  She STAYS.  I shall not disturb this magnificent creature. It is not my job.  Who am I to step in and interfere with what this moth needs to do and where she wants to be.  My job is to simply observe this remarkable beauty, to record it, and to remember that when the wind draws up, to just cling; to be steadfast; and to STAY.
Thank you, Kerry, you teach me this every Wednesday.  And I see it– the importance of staying, even when the wind draws up.


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