Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Cruelty of Nature

Female Luna Moth on our Garage Wall

Chalk it up to hormones--or perhaps it's just my flair for the dramatic, but I've spent the morning lamenting the fate of a female luna moth that landed on our garage wall sometime yesterday. I knew at first glance that she was, indeed, a luna moth, but knowing little about the species, I turned to the internet. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing. The luna moth emerges from her cocoon in search of a mate. She is "born" with no mouth, so she can't eat to sustain herself. No, her sole purpose is to mate, lay eggs and die--and she has less than a week to do so. In the past few hours I've concocted in my mind's eye what is surely a poetic version of this beauty's life.

Yesterday at dawn she emerged from her warm and familiar surroundings--the cocoon into which she wove herself as a catepillar. She blinked several times, adjusting to the growing sunlight, and stretched her wings, pumping them full of her life blood so that she could fly. After two hours, she was ready for her maiden, and final, voyage. She winged into the air in search of a place where she would meet the companion who would help her complete the life cycle.

She lights on a wall and waits for him, wafting pheremones into the air to entice him. And she waits. And waits. It's evening now, and he's not come for her, but she dares not move. She closes her eyes every now and again, trying desperately not to sleep--there will be plenty of time for sleeping soon enough. Eventually morning breaks, and she knows that time is short. She is still alone and glances about for any sign of her life's destiny. Six more days, if she's lucky.....

Hey, I told you it was a poetic version. Ah, the cruelty of nature. I wish I could draw some amazing metaphoric meaning from her plight--some symbolic connection to life. I've tried. The only thing I am able to do, however, is shed a ridiculous tear and vow not to check on her every ten minutes. Even that, though, is in vain as I glance again out the window to see if she's found Mr. Right.


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