Category: Connecting with the Insect World


As I typed this title thinking of one idea, instead the movie by the same name came to mind. One of my old favorites. A vision of a life where old age becomes full of joy and contentment, with a new adventure to boot. That’s my vision for Old Age.

However, the reason I originally wrote this title was because of something I saw yesterday.

“What is this?”, you might ask. When I first saw it yesterday, it was  a mere net, a gossamer sheet of threads over a florescent green, bulbous and  huge caterpillar.  There were ants busily moving in, through and around the space being created as this net was spun, seemingly a happy part of the green worm’s creation.

I didn’t take a picture then because I wasn’t sure which way it was going. Somehow it appeared that perhaps this worm was on its way out. I remember thinking – how does a caterpillar come out of the cocoon, as a caterpillar? Am I missing something?

Yes, I was. When I approached the area I found it in this morning, I realized it was almost done building a very firm abode to rest in while it transformed into its next stage.

Wow.

Talk about creating your own safety. It seems like a perfect metaphor for the necessary times of introspection, meditation, rest, retreat and inner nourishment. Winter always seems like a natural time for this, but I realize that perhaps we need mini-cocoons – shorter periods of withdrawal, more frequently. Momentary retreats where we nourish and transform ourselves. Take an unkind word and change it in our heart into a more thoughtful one so that it doesn’t fester and burn. Keeping our inner Self clear and full of Light to support this vision of an old age filled with Joy and Contentment. I love that thought.

I looked again at the safety net and saw how common, ordinary bits of the surrounding environment had been utilized to form this shining gossamer fortress. A tiny piece of leather, a withering leaf, stems of leaves long gone. This is part of the way of thinking that permaculture comes out of.  To use whatever surrounds us naturally, is already present in our local surroundings, and utilize it to help create or reinforce the cycle of  life and make it better. Or in the case of this one, protect us from the environment while we sense and change and meld with our deepest desires.  There is a sense of completeness that comes from noticing local availability, and what is literally in our own back yard,  before having something shipped across the country or the world.

I am watching this Cocoon each day to see what miraculous creature will unfold from its time of introspection, or perhaps it’s just resting and nourishing its Self with beautiful thoughts and visions of radiant mirth. More to come.

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Yesterday a very green 6 legged one presented himself to me on my desk.

I was delighted!  So delighted, in fact, that I photographed him, admiring his exquisite lines and colors and beauty. I looked him up in my Insect field guides, the closest match being a juvenile katydid. However he didn’t exactly match the images for Katydids, who have an elongated thorax and wings. Perhaps any Entomologists reading will comment on this.

After admiring, oooing and ahing over him (or her), following the explosions into space which he navigated when I got too close, I was amazed at the way he would use his back legs to condense his whole body into a coil spring, and then be flying through the air to land on yet another surface where I could study the green harmonic lines of his body again.

Then, in the midst crawling around on the floor after him, I was struck with the thought – wow ! My girls (chickens) would love this tender morsel! Now, before anyone is too horrified, I want to state why I firmly believe in the predator – prey relationship.  Our natural world revolves around it. In fact, insects are the foundation and the basis of what physically nourishes the rest of us. If we want to take it further, plants nourish those who nourish us, and microbrial activity nourishes all of us. Every time we breathe we are breathing in thousands of microorganisms that are either essential to life, intruders or perhaps neutral and our immune system is immediately wiping out a great deal of these. Eating other beings is just part of breathing no matter what species you are. I think of “Horton Hears a Who” everytime I try to picture the order of size and relative importance, although of course there is so much more to it than that. The difference I strive for is appreciation, respect and honoring the life I participate in consuming or helping others consume, in the case of an animal in my care.

First, I gathered him up very gently and carried him in loose hands outside. I told him how much I appreciated this opportunity to give my hens, who at this time are giving me daily nourishing fantastic delicious eggs,  a special treat. I asked if this was okay with him. I felt the answer was that letting them eat him is in harmony with what could happen, would happen sooner or later in the world. He is seen as a tasty morsel to many. I was respecting his comfort and life. I walked to the fence where the hens set in the afternoon sun, and placed him carefully on it. I gave him an opportunity to jump away before I let them know he was there. He didn’t. Soon, one of the hens waddled over and gobbled him up.

I thought about him all day. What a fascinating face! What a vibrant color! What a lucky hen to catch him!  And most of all, how great that I got to see such a beautiful representation of the insect world up close and personal.

I’m still thinking about him today.

Yesterday, as I watched the honeybees buzzing in my pumpkin patch, I marveled at them. It’s always exciting for me to see honeybees after they have been so painfully absent from our gardens, struggling with diseases I believe were brought on by persistent pesticides and a resulting weakened immune system.

Covered in golden pollen so heavy they can barely fly, they appeared drunk and immersed in revelry, a perpetual party of seeking out what they love and then immersing themselves fully in it.

What nourishes each of us? Conversely, what is it that slowly poisons us and therefore we need to avoid or protect ourselves from being exposed to?  What is it that we are inherently drawn to, and what attracts us because it is feeds the Core of our Being? What do we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in fully, before bringing it back home to nourish our family and friends with?

It’s becoming more and more important to me, no matter what,  to let my Inner Wisdom draw me to that which I know to be best for my Soul, no matter how it looks to a casual observer or critic who is on the outside looking in.

Can anyone else ever really know what nourishes each one of us us, and are they ever in a position to take it away from us simply with their disapproval? No.

My loved ones benefit when I am following the wild call of my Wild Heart. The critics will never be happy or smile at me, no matter how much I sing to them.

I know it’s time to pay more attention to what nourishes me, less time worrying about why people hurt each other, and then fill myself up with the nectar of life until the pollen is dripping off my sides.

Honeybees have the right idea.