A beautiful woman once told me that moths are messengers of the dead (more pleasantly put: of the other side, the spirit world).
I used to have, let’s say, my reservations with moths. I saw them as the butterfly’s drunken evil twin. Muddy, dusty, lumpy and hairy; they were the annoying, ugly duckling that never became the swan. Yet especially, the majority of my hatred festered from a lifetime of relentless torture that scarred me, leaving me enslaved in infinite terror of them. Due to their insistent tendency to bomb dive me right between the eyes, and flutter their gross furry wings all over my forehead and eyelids, I developed a deep rooted phobia of their very (even distant) presence.
The other night I went to my brother’s for an evening (social-distanced) bonfire. Stars, flames, bullfrogs, and family in the backwoods of 2nd Line, it was a gathering our ancestors couldn’t have missed. Soon, even tucked in front of a small 4 foot blaze, the early summer evening was growing crisp and colder. My brother sang softly with his guitar between the fire and pond as if he filled the space between flame and water. I walked to get a blanket in the pitch-black peace of Nature at night, my brother’s song echoing behind me, lost in a full euphoric distraction. One of those pure feel good, grateful moments…you know what I mean?
I reached the house and grabbed the doorknob under the glow of the porch light. Right before turning the knob, my “happy place” vanished when I noticed a familiar sound: the haunting, subtle buzz of a flock of creepy wings. I hunched and slowly lifted my head to assess the extent of the size of the swarm of monsters above me.
Staring at my feet, I reluctantly raised my eyes. Barely lifting my chin, my heart plummeted into my stomach, squeezing the air out of my lungs. Jumping back many feet like a spooked cat, I died a little inside once I got a clear view of the creature that, moments before, perched inches from my face.
A gargantuan, hairy, prehistoric moth sat thinly, wings closed on the door. It’s tattered grey wings were the size of two dried up pig’s ears, and several legs and antennae wriggled from its lumpy baby-carrot sized body.
Stepping forward to get a closer look in a disgusted curiosity, the moth gracefully relaxed its wings to reveal a bold masterpiece of intricate beauty on their inside. Amid two identically symmetrical designs, both wings had a crystal clear blue eye. I looked deep into the bright eyes as they looked back at (and through) me. They seemed to say so much yet nothing at all, in a flash of a heated moment.
Guilty, I’d judged a book by its cover. However, amongst a cryptic silence I heard a message.
The message was not within the moth itself. The moth was more of a message notification: a secretary who stares you in the eyes, slaps you in the face, messes with your hair, harasses and annoys you- without mercy.
Bing!!! You have a message from Ancestor. Message will soon expire.