Ladybug Landing

October 10, 2010

I woke up this morning thinking I could solve this bird thing. I could roll back the netting on the small part of the pond closest to the house, leaving just a bit of open water as a hospitality suite. I could put just one pump back in, to keep the water splashing. When I told Tony, he looked at me and said, “You worked on that all day. It looks so nice, it will be so easy to clean in the spring. The pumps are cleaned, dried and put away. You don’t want to do that again in the cold. Rebecca, they’re BIRDS. They’ll adapt.”

Well, yes, but I want them to adapt in my yard. I want to see them from my window. I LIKE THEM.

He told me he saw flocks of them take off when he let the dogs out that morning. Hmmmm…. I wondered…..especially when I asked what kind and received, “I don’t know birds” for an answer. Hmmmm……

It is so quiet out there now. There is no splash of the pond, there is no breeze today to rustle the grasses. It is not peaceful – it is discordant. It is weird. I don’t like it. There is no birdsong or chatter. They have left me for safer waters, ponds and baths without dangerous nets.

Back from the grocery store with three bright happy pumpkins for the front porch, I see a big fat pumpkin there already. Dominic is now home from visiting a friend at college, tired but oh-so-happy. They got a free pumpkin when they filled the car with gas, so he claimed it for me. Sweet child. He is already looking forward to a camping trip next weekend with near-strangers, people he just met this semester, and going to U of I for Halloween weekend. He smiles at me and says, “It’s like I’m a real kid now, Mom.” He laughs and says, Pinocchio-like, “I’m a real boy!” He sits on the porch, smiling, and tells me about his weekend.

A ladybug lands on my forearm and spirals up to my shoulder while I make photographs of milkweed bugs, of coneflower stems, of clematis and of Pinocchio. It tickles, feels weird but in a good way, an almost invisible sensation.

When a ladybug lands on a person, it is a symbol of good luck, a portent of very good things to come. I look at Dominic, at my real boy, and think of how wise this ladybug really is.

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