Thursday, October 29, 2009

Living the LadyBug Years

How long do lady bugs really live?  All we know is learned science, which is amazing and groundbreaking and shocking.  I don't see too many lady bug neurosurgeons.  We leave that strictly to the humans - and maybe a few orangutans.

But do we have an idea of how long anything is supposed to live?  Lets just say that I only have a few weeks or months to live, before someone steps on me or whacks me with a windshield wiper.  But people?  They have a million breaths they need to take, before they are considered to have had a long life.  How short is too short, how long is long enough?

I think about a certain brown eyed kid, who I know loved lady bugs.  Lady bugs, spiders, fireflies.  He loved animals of all kinds - even my predators!  But he was amazing and creative and beautiful.  And I watched him grow, from apple juice bottles to Toy Story to shaggy hair.  But one night, his breaths stopped.  Shallowly, slowly, mercilessly.

It comes as a surprise, a shock to the nervous system.  For one millisecond, you feel exactly what he felt.  Flashes.  Your heart stopping.  But it passes, as other emotions sweep over you, through your blood.  You feel them changing, evaporating, moving, adapting.  Eventually, you realize you are still living.  You are still feeling, you are still breathing.  And you need to appreciate all of it - for him.

He was 15 years old and I can't stop thinking about the mark he left.  So maybe that is long enough.  In LadyBug years, well that's an eternity.

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