Today I celebrate the first sighting this year of the ladybug. If there is a bug of benevolence, this is it. Even the tough guys among us don’t lay a finger on the ladybug except to lift it up and let it fly. Slugs, snails, spiders: they are also God’s creatures, but we kill them. By pesticide, salt or stepping upon, these bugs get what we think they deserve. When passing around the pesticide, it’s not ladybugs we think about. Why do they bring out our hopefulness?
Dragonflies and walking sticks fall into the same category as ladybugs. We pause when we see them in the garden or on the trail. We take a moment to contemplate nature, or just take a moment. But that tiny, red, spotted hard shell somehow has taken the “Fly Away Home” award. We know we are bad news for bugs, and we work to save the ladybug from ourselves. I know there is an ecological purpose for this blessed bug, but that has little to do with the fantasy we have built around it. We protect it for the emotional qualities we think it has: love, selflessness, hope.
Today, as I think of the first viewing of this season, I salute the ladybug, and I celebrate also the time to notice this worthy event.