This morning the owner of the bank I work at came into the office and walked toward my desk. I sighed inwardly, wondering what new work he was bringing me. Instead, he said I brought you something and deposited on my desk the largest moth I have ever seen.

I gently took it in my hand. Clumsy as hell, it couldn’t stand up straight because its wings were too big, and every time it fell over it would flail its legs wildly, trying to find a grip by which to pull itself along to wherever instinct compelled it to go. It struck me silent, this impossibly ill-conceived machine more beautiful than anything.

I researched it a little later and found out it was a cecropia moth, the largest in North America. The adults live only a week, don’t eat, don’t even have mouths. They emerge from their cocoons, mate as quickly and often as possible, and die. The one I held today was a female, laden with eggs and desperate to deposit them.

I took it back outside, set it on a bush. It could hardly hold on, but I trust it found its way. I don’t know how this too-horny-to-eat-anything, reckless, lovely creature has survived the eons of a nature red of tooth and claw, but it reminded me of a number of people I have known, and I smiled as I walked back inside.

We’re all clumsy and vulnerable as we look for love.

The rest of my day was typical, but it reminded me that wonder greets us daily if we will open our eyes to see it. Grace is never common, no matter what the theologians say.

This entry was posted in Imperfect Prose, Science and Nature, The Adventure of Life. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Common

  1. Melissa S says:

    Grace is never common, no matter what the theologians say.

    so very true.
    I always enjoy your writing. Thanks again for sharing. :)

  2. Joybird says:

    That moth is so stinkin’ cool. Huge. How did it feel to hold? And this…”We’re all clumsy and vulnerable as we look for love.” what a well stated awkward truth.

  3. happygirl says:

    Hey, clumsy and vulnerable here. I can’t imagine what I’d say if my boss brought me a moth. Love the story and your way to turning it into a parable.

  4. The first thing that came to my mind as I read your post was, “perhaps we are so clumsy when we walk because we were actually created to fly.”

    Loved this post.

  5. Jodi says:

    I have one of these moths in a cabinet at home. My son Alex found it in a parking lot where he works. It had already died. Alex has an eye for beauty; he brought it home to me as a gift, and like you, I was amazed. I think it’s pretty cool that your boss brought it to you, probably knowing you’d appreciate it. That’s saying a lot about the both of you. “Grace is never common”, neither are people. I wish for you, and your family, to have many, many grace-filled days
    P.S. Thank you for encouraging me about my paintings.

  6. lori says:

    It is so funny that you wrote this post because my brother-in-law had a similar giant moth experience just the other night that we all got a few laughs out of. The moth made a thud as it hit his window. Let’s hope these giant bird-like moths aren’t taking over the world. It was neon and alien-like, really it was. I later found out it was a luna moth. I guess it wasn’t an alien after all, lol. I don’t know if you can attach picture in comments, so here is a link to what the giant moth looked like.

  7. Rachel says:

    God’s grace is great, and good interesting nature lesson.

  8. Kati says:

    I think it’s awesome your boss knew you well enough and was comfortable with you to just walk in and drop a moth in your hand!

  9. oh my goodness. how random and beautiful. i didn’t know you worked at a bank! and what a brilliant moth…

    (ps. laughed at the “people i have slept with” portion of your side-bar :) awesome.)

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