Wild Wisdom has been on hiatus for a few months.
I pushed pause to take care of my home and spend some time working through my current growth spurt.
I do miss writing about the animals. But I’ve had some run-ins with my inner critic lately who influences me more than I would like. I’m working on that, and I’ve asked her to step aside so I can listen to my own Wild Wisdom for a while.
A neighbor was telling me recently about all the ladybugs that are lining the outside of her business building. And then the craziest thing happened—she started seeing ladybugs at her house, too! Some of them were getting inside the windows.
She was flummoxed (love that word). She tried to think of everything to get rid of them, and they keep reappearing. They seemed to just be showing up everywhere.
It just so happens that my building, only a couple of doors down, doesn’t have any ladybugs hanging around.
I suggested to her that maybe the ladybugs were showing up in droves to try and get her attention. Perhaps they had a special message for her.
“Come on, really? No way. I looked it up, and they’re just searching out a warm spot to hibernate.”
…meet my super rational “there must be only one explanation brain.”
There’s nothing at all unusual (or wrong) about this exchange. But I love what it represents.
It’s a perfect example about how we search for rational explanations—and dismiss that there can be anything else going on.
Of course, it’s a fact that ladybugs looking to hibernate for winter are attracted to lighter colored buildings, especially those that radiate heat. They release pheromones to tell all of their buddies that they’ve found a nice and toasty spot to snuggle up during cold weather. A few can turn into many very easily.
But this “perfectly logical explanation” doesn’t have to be the only explanation. The thing is, two things can be true at the same time. Yes, the ladybugs are seeking to hunker down. And also yes, perhaps the ladybugs chose this woman’s place of business and home because they have another very good reason.
We can explain away almost anything. It makes us a lot more comfortable to think that the hawk you keep seeing is overhead because her nest is nearby. Or, that the family of skunks is in your window well because they needed a place to protect their babies. And, that the coyote crossing your back yard is on the run because his natural habitat is disappearing.
Those things are all true.
It’s also true that there’s more to it. That’s how nature rolls.
Turns out, ladybugs are messengers of luck and protection. They have long been a good omen for farmers and gardeners. In their short lives they can eat thousands of aphids and other bugs to help maintain balance. They are guarded with a beautiful shell. Never aggressive, but they hold their boundaries when tested. They remind us to release worry and live our short lives to the fullest.
I admit. I’m a little jealous the ladybugs haven’t paid me a visit lately.
So next time an animal gets your attention. Congratulate your 7th grade self for remembering its migratory habits. But don’t stop there. Pause just a moment. Acknowledge its presence. And just think about what else might be true for you.
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