August Bugs

…can actually be a good thing! Don’t forget: dragonflies eat mosquitoes, so be kind!

#metamorphosis #susanstrasser #susanstrasserblog #amwriting

Cicadas are crazy, August-loud right now. Our windows are closed with the AC on, but you can still hear them.

I have heard their click-clacking all my life, as I grew up in Maryland. They always leave their shells on trees and I was grossed out and avoided them. If I had to flick them off of something, I would use a stick.

I was raised Christian and to not really to respect bugs or living things. But once I inculcated a loose Cherokee tradition into my life, and learned basic Native American ways, I began to fully embrace respect for all living things. I love most bugs even though pesky mosquitoes love to feast on me. (my favorite insect, dragonflies, in turn, eat them! So, there!)

Different insects offer different spiritual meanings according to Animal Speaks by Ted Andrews, and I still generally appreciate whatever wisdom he espouses. Andrews begins his entries on different insects with physical traits, then launches into spiritual significance of the insect as well.

For example, my dragonflies, like all insects, have the ability for a metamorphosis. Dragonflies begin life in streams and ponds. First, they are eggs, then nymphs and larvae. Finally, the insect itself emerges on blades of grass and waits for its wings and body to dry enough to take its first flight.

One of the joys of August is seeing Dragonflies of all colors soaring in our yards, parks, parking lots, hovering above pools… you name it! This week I have seen the large golden type in our work parking lot and I am grateful for their visits.

Animals of all kinds, especially insects, have something to teach us.

Also, butterflies’ general significance is joy. Who doesn’t delight in a spontaneous, colorful butterfly alight near them? With precious Monarch populations endangered, I, like many others, have planted the popular butterfly bushes and milkweed to save both their habitats as well as the spiritual message they give. Just this morning, one danced in the air in front of me as I backed my bus into its parking space. I don’t take any Monarchs for granted.

Crickets are the true harbingers of fall, though, aren’t they? They compete with cicadas in our yard for the loudest insects to be heard through our home’s walls.  

I respect insects because they are small and stealthy. When Bug’s Life came out many years ago, I fell in love with the idea of personifying what the overlooked ant might go through if we put ourselves in its position. Ants exemplify team work and dedication and amaze me with their ability to move things 10 times their size!

After all, the outdated cliché of walking a mile in another man’s shoes is good, but isn’t meditating on an animal’s life even better?

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