This elusive, ephemeral creature was lying on a gravel path in Chignecto campground, Fundy National Park; the same place where I spotted my first. Fearing someone might inadvertently trample it, I picked it up and moved it to safety.
The wings were the colour of fresh cornhusks and as transparent as onionskin. Its furred body and underside of the wings were silky to touch; the bushy antennae, shaped like the veins of a leaf, identified it as a male. Eyespots on his wings, intended to confuse predators, enhanced the magical quality of this exquisite creature.
But, those delicate, silken wings were tattered. It had been hurt, suffered damage in its short life. As I held it gently, it began to quiver and shudder. I wondered if it would die right there in my hand. Then, suddenly, it gathered itself together, lifted those poor tattered wings and fluttered to the underside of a large leaf where it remained, hidden, perfectly blended with its surroundings. A quiet place to gather strength. An hour later, I checked and it had flown.
I feel blessed by such a rare encounter. The chances of finding a luna are very slim. To hold one in the palm of one's hand, even more extraordinary. An adult luna moth will only live in this glorious state for 7 days, during which time, it will mate and then die.
What if we, too, were permitted only a fleeting moment of glory in our lives…only a short time of exquisite beauty and magnificence to fulfill our purpose and leave something of ourselves behind? Only one brief interlude to touch another life and leave it profoundly changed.
Would we let the paralysis of hurt and damage hold us in place to be trampled again? Or would we allow another to lift us up to safety? Would we blend in with our surroundings and hide with our hurts in fear, or would we have the courage to spread our wings and fly to our purpose?
I love this quote by Marianne Williamson in A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."