I started this blog to share some of the thoughts I have along the journey of life. I love to travel and spend time with my family and friends. A good meal, breaking bread with those I love, gives my life meaning. So does travel. I adore dreaming of sites to visit, not just to check them off on a list. Rather, I consider myself a student of life, traveling as an explorer, to open my mind to all the possibilities the world holds in store for me and for others. I love to travel to discover how different the world is in terms of climate, cultures, politics, terrain, economy, etc. but also to discover how SIMILAR the people are. Despite language barriers, much can be communicated with a smile or gestures. Language is simply a means to communicate, yet there are so very many other ways to communicate. Once when I was in French-speaking Canada, I realized that my 7th grade French class didn’t teach me the word for “straw”. However, when I thought about it, I was able to communicate to the very French-speaking waiter in a very French-speaking restaurant about my need for a “cylinder through which to drink” in my limited French vocabulary. Travel challenges the mind and soul, stretching us to problem solve and form conclusions about all that we experience. THAT is the type of travel I enjoy best. “All’s well that ends well”, as they say………….”Life is Good” as well.
I am always been fascinated with the power that perspective holds over us in our lives. How we see or think of something colors how we feel about it time and time again. Take crickets, for example. These insects are considered a bit of a nuisance among some people here in American because of the “noise” they make, especially in large numbers or if you are trying to sleep. They can also be called a nuisance because they can destroy vegetable crops and flowers and can be damage to clothing, carpeting, and furs. However, in China, crickets are respected a great deal, and the Chinese consider the noise they make to be “music”. The Chinese also see crickets as a symbol of courage and a fighting spirit. In our culture, many people take crickets to be symbolic of good luck and genuine happiness, even if they find them annoying.
I have always had a fondness for crickets. In fact, in college, I listened to audio tapes of crickets chirping on occasion when I studied, as I found their sounds soothing to my ears. Many of my friends though I was a little crazy accordingly, but there is a melodious peace they make if you really take the time to listen to them. The sound can almost be hypnotic.
Crickets are fascinating creatures. In fact their chirps, made by rubbing their upper and lower wings together, can even help you figure out the temperature outside at any given time. According to the “Farmer’s Almanac,” if you count the number of chirps in fourteen seconds and add forty, you can get a pretty fair approximation of the temperature outside in Fahrenheit. I somehow see raising crickets somewhere in my near future…..
Life is good. This summer, get outside to hear the crickets chirp some night. May you see their noise as music and find the good fortune and happiness in your lives that they represent, for they are truly magical creatures.
Carpe diem, friends………..
“When there is goodness, there is magic.” -Cinderella’s Mother in “Cinderella”
I just did it. I ordered fifteen HUNDRED live ladybugs for release into the yard. I began thinking of some new ideas to do during the pandemic while we continue to self-isolate. I love watching the butterfly caterpillars we have growing in the house, looking each day for subtle changes in them. Watching and waiting. Watching and waiting. I wondered what else we could have growing in the house during this hot Florida spring and decided that ladybugs would be amazing to watch, grow, and release. I looked on Amazon and found this kit:
I love this kit, as it has three magnifying glass lenses (for 3x magnification) on the top of it, which will help to really notice the amazing changes in the ladybugs as they grow. I love watching life through a lens. The kit contains a voucher for about ten live ladybug larvae, too. I decided that ten is not nearly enough ladybugs to eat the white flies and aphids I have growing and eating in my yard, so that’s why I ordered the large, no VERY large, order of live ladybugs in the meantime.
“The ladybug wears no disguises.
She is just what she advertises.
A speckled spectacle of spring,
A fashion statement on the wing,
A miniature orange kite,
A tiny dot-to-dot delight.”
-J. Patrick Lewis
The ladybug kit, Amazon assures me, will arrive at my home on Tuesday, May 19, and the live ladybugs will arrive on May 29. The kit will arrive WITHOUT the butterfly larvae, however. I will have to order them separately after I receive the kit, using the voucher that is provided along with the kit.
“Life is a series of tiny miracles. Notice them.”
(photo credit: Dreamstime)
“Ladybugs all dressed in red, strolling through the flower bed… if I were tiny just like you, I’d creep through the flowers, too!”
(photo credit: Dreamstime)
Evidently legend has it that ladybugs are associated with good luck, changes, divine intervention, and a happy resolution to something troublesome. The Celts associated ladybugs with protection, and in French folklore legend has it that whatever ailment you have flies away when a ladybug flies away from you. The French, as well as the Austrians, also believe seeing a ladybug would be correlated with good weather. In Norway, if a man and a woman spot a ladybug at the same time, legend has it that there will be a romance blooming between them. A rare sighting of a yellow ladybug, according to yet another legend, signifies upcoming travel, adventure, and a new chapter in one’s life. Swedish folklore tells us that if a ladybug lands on a young woman’s hand, she would be married soon.
There are also some religious meanings associated with ladybugs as well. In fact, some say the origins to the ladybug’s name, originally known as “Our Lady’s Beetles”, is the result of a reference to a prayer made by farmers in the Middle Ages to the Virgin Mary to keep their crops safe from swarms of pests (aphids). When the ladybugs arrived, they thought they were sent from their prayers to the Virgin Mary, and they called them “Our Lady’s Beetle.” Some say the common number of seven spots on the lady’s back are associated with the Virgin Mary’s “seven joys and seven sorrows” as described in the Bible.
It has also been said that lady bugs in the Jewish religion also have religious meaning. The Hebrew word for ladybugs is “Moses’ Cow”, as there is an old Yiddish legend in which Moses encountered these beautiful creatures when he was sitting in the Garden of Eden studying the Torah. When the ladybug asked Moses why he had spots, Moses replied that the spots represented God’s words and deeds. Also, a common number of spots on the lady bug, seven, is symbolic of the six days that God created with world and the seventh day that he rested. If a ladybug has only two spots, it stands for the “Two Tablets of Jewish law (the first tablet was written by God, and the second Tablet was written with Moses). If a ladybug has ten spots, it represents the ten commandments, and so on.
Ladybugs are some of the most beautiful and appreciated beetles in the world. They help us by eating pests and are the stuff of legends. When I look at my new ladybugs when they arrive, I will remember their association with good luck and protection. I can’t wait to release them into the world so that in some small way, I am doing my part to make the world a little bit better than I found it.
Life is good. May you find good fortune and may any ailment at all, or any ailment from the pandemic (physical, mental, or otherwise), fly away from you if and when you see a ladybug land on you during some enchanted evening or magical moment.