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Friday, 28 June 2013

Moth Messenger

By Sharon Ostrow who blogs at It's All About the Journey

It was resting on the back porch of the house, the largest and most vivid moth I have ever seen. I was curious about this fascinating creature and wondered why it was there in my life at that particular moment. What message it was bringing?

I ran to get the camera to take photos before it flew away. Internet research revealed that it was a Cecropia, or Robin Moth, a specimen of the largest moth in North America. I believe it was a female, judging by the size of the abdomen and the antennae.

In ancient Greek mythology, the goddess Psyche was represented by a moth, the symbol of soul or spirit. Moths are also symbols of sensitivity and intuition. They are guided by the moon, for the night is their realm.

Like their more flamboyant butterfly cousins, moths are identified with transformation and metamorphosis (meta is Greek, “change beyond,” morph is “shape” and osis is “state, process, condition”) from a caterpillar in its cocoon into a winged, more refined creature.

To me, the story of the Cecropia is both joyful and heartbreaking. Their short life spans have a single purpose,to breed. To this end they don’t eat as these moths have neither mouths nor digestive systems.

The male, attracted to the female’s pheromones, will fly as far as seven miles to get to his mate. When he finds her, they spend one day together from early morning until the evening.

After the mating is complete and the female lays her eggs and both moths fly away to die within seven to ten days. The cycle of life is complete.

Why had this Psyche moth stopped to rest at my doorstep? Was she merely resting? Perhaps she was exuding her sweet fragrance to attract her mate, or she already laid her eggs and had embarked on death’s journey.

I don’t fully understand the significance of her appearance; maybe her presence at that moment was a reminder to embrace the cycle of life and to give me courage as I move forward on my own journey on this earth.

Whatever her message, to find this exotic creature in my own back yard is a miracle and that is enough for me.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Lovely "musing" and photograph.

I loved it; a science lesson told in storybook fashion.

I find very similar to my posted story of June 21 in that we somehow are intruding on nature's word (mine with a bee, yours with a giant moth).

We are recent inhabitants of this world and more intrusive beings.

Nice piece.

Sharon, Wonderful writing about the Psyche moth. You were indeed fortunate to have a chance to observe the "exotic creature."

Perhaps we do get messages from all kinds of God's creatures. Your research gave you an opportunity to look into the lives of these moths and reflect upon your own life.

Your story was interesting, not only for its information, but also as a reminder to us of our brief lives and what we leave behind.

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