The lady I live with has an affinity for ladybugs.
Many’s the time she pushing me down the street when zoooom –
here come one of them straight out from nowhere to land right on her.
She carries it along for a while, then it flies off – on to business again.
This been happening since she were a kidlet.
I was witness to a miracle involving her and them little critters.
Going to tell the story of it to you because this a special evening.
Every year on this date, we celebrate the Ladybug Liberation Ritual.
More of that later.
First, what I’m going to tell you is absolutely true and verifyable by others.
I predicate this tale by explaining that the lady I live with is… spooky.
She of a mystical turn of mind.
Unusual occurrences happen to her almost daily.
Fortunately, she is a benign Soul.
These oddities are pleasant and awe inspiring, as well as puzzling and curious.
Many years ago, she had a little theatre – I was the headliner.
In those days, I was still acting out thus could be unreliable.
She took me to her apartment frequently, to keep me from ending up drunk somewhere.
On a particular late Autumn evening, she was futzing with a Begonia plant she had on the window sill.
It was sick with aphids.
She said, “I could really use a ladybug right now.”
Then she reached for a book on the shelf, and out of it floated a postcard from a friend in New York.
It was the picture of a ladybug shown above.
We both laughed at this coincidence.
She placed the card by the plant saying –
“Maybe the spirit of the ladybug will chase the aphids away.”
We went down to the Theatre and had a great show.
After, we came back to the apartment, opened the door and was struck dumb with amazement.
The whole place was filled with ladybugs!
Covering the windows, inside and out.
On the ceiling, on the bookshelf, and all over the Begonia.
There was red ones, black ones, yellow, orange; ones with spots, without, or only one.
We’d never seen nothing like it.
They was flying, mating, and God knows, probably chatting away like mad.
They had made theyselves to home.
We stood there slack jawed.
She ran outside.
Her windows were the only ones on the whole building smothered in ladybugs – fairly black with them.
We couldn’t figure out how they got inside.
The windows was closed tight – they all had screens on them.
It was October – way past the season for ladybugs.
Where had they come from?
It was a miracle and no mistake.
The ladybugs stayed inside her little place all through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The last one died on January 23rd – falling silently down from the ceiling like a minuscule snowflake.
Months went by.
I had my stroke.
She closed the theatre.
We travelled down south for the climate.
On the way, we camped in the Los Padres National Forest.
(Don’t get me started on camping out – it is a saga for another time.)
She took Cody dog swimming in the San Inez River everyday.
When we got there one morning, we discovered the tranquil pool we’d visited several times before had a film all over the surface of the water.
Thousands of ladybugs!
All struggling to stay afloat.
What on Earth had happened?
The lady I live with waded in, took her big skirt and scooped up the soggy buggies, bringing them to the shore.
Trip after trip, until she rescued every one.
As they dried out and started to fly away, she sat down to cry.
A few stragglers walked up her arms – taking off from her shoulders.
What are the odds that she would be the one who came, the one who would be chosen to save them?
It was almost one year to the day since the miracle in her flat.
The two incidents were related.
She was the pivot around which they revolved.
Told you she was spooky.
Since then, every year on her birthday, the lady I live with goes to the local Nursery and buys a couple thousand ladybugs.
We wait until Sunset, when it cooler – then she liberate them around the roses, hollyhocks and wildflowers.
A ritual in gratitude for another year of life, of peace and happiness.
Tonight we’ll watch them acclimatize themselves to freedom.
She’ll sing a prayer for all those who suffer, who grieve, who are not free.
We wish All well.
The lady I live with worships Nature.
It loves her back.
artwork by thecodifyer