Dotter told me that Lizzy had been asking questions about death since Aunt Jody died; questions like I wonder what it’s like when you’re dead? Dotter told her it was probably like being asleep, only you don’t dream and you don’t wake up. Dotter’s husband offered his explanations too. Then they saw a ladybug. In the house. In December.
And Lo, they were amazed.
It was so weird because Lizzy is our Ladybug Girl, always finding ladybugs, and here we are having this deep, spiritual conversation, and a ladybug appears! In December!
Lizzy’s dad says, See… magic is everywhere if you just believe.
Lights flash and warning sirens wail in my head. Don’t go there! Dotter senses my skepticism as the words are coming out of her mouth. Now she feels dumb telling me this story. “You’ll think it’s silly”.
I don’t remember how, but we veered away from this danger zone. I was trying to think of an acceptable response. Oh, wow?! Cool! I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I was just trying to wrap my head around what they were thinking.
Was she suggesting that the ladybug was some kind of Messenger from Beyond? Do they think Aunt Jody sent the ladybug? Because, if that’s the case, Yes! I think it’s silly. It makes for a cute story, but let’s think about more realistic explanations.
I recall the day Lizzy took me up to her bedroom to see the ladybug she was keeping in her doll house. Maybe the miraculous winter ladybug is still alive in December because it’s been living inside the warm house. Unless the ladybug was talking or texting or something extraordinary, I wouldn’t think it was a Supernatural Ladybug.
It reminded me of the Owl Seers. After co-worker Pat died, Ron told me that he and members of Pat’s family had all seen owls on their separate routes home from the wake. An owl flew low across the road in front of Ron’s car. What does it mean?! The owl-seers were elated! They believed that the owls were a sign from Pat. Maybe it was Pat, waving good-bye! They seemed to believe that when you die you get some kind of power over the animal kingdom and you can send critters on errands. Or maybe you can turn your dead-self into to an a bird and visit your old friends.
I wonder how that squares with their Christian beliefs? I suppose, if you believe in Eden’s talking snake and the talking ass and bears god sent to maul naughty children, it’s not that much of a stretch. Religion sets people up to believe just about anything.
Another True Story. Jay was walking to his car after buying some weed, when he spied a snake on the ground by the driver’s side door. He’d had a dream about a snake, and now there’s a snake by the car door! OMG! He made it into his car via the passenger door and peeled outta there. He was freaked-out by seeing this snake after buying the pot after having that snake dream. He decided the snake was a sign, a warning that he shouldn’t have bought the pot. He threw the baggy out the car window.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in Oz. When Ron first found out that I’m an atheist he was surprised and said, “but you seem so well adjusted!” He thinks I’m the weird one because I don’t believe in gods or Messenger Owls.
I don’t mean to spoil your magic moment, it’s just that I look for factual explanations. I don’t feel the need embellish the real world with magic glitter-twinkle-sparkles.
The very fact that there is such a thing as a ladybug, an owl and a snake; and that the ladybug, the owl, the snake and you and I are all hurtling through space together on this weird, magnificent blue speck, isn’t that magic enough?