… and then, I have nature and art and poetry,
and if that is not enough,
what is enough?
-Vincent van Gogh
Sometimes I think you almost have to deliberately not see how intricate and lovely the natural world is. I don’t think I’ve ever had the thought, “I should take some photographs,” and not been able to find something worth capturing. Even when living in the concrete jungle, you can always find a bird, something growing defiantly out of a crack in the sidewalk or an untended drainpipe, an insect, a secret smile on the face of a passerby.
When you consider how beautiful a forest or an ocean is, this huge thing on the landscape too large for our eyes to even take it all in, and then consider how each part, each snapshot, contains its own beauty and wonder. Down, down deep to the microcosm, the plays of color and pattern on the smallest insect, in the detail of a feather, the crystals of a snowflake.
I don’t believe in a capital G God, exactly, but I believe in a something that is bigger and greater than me, because I cannot fathom that this could all be born out of chaos.
These are the sorts of deep thoughts I have while gassing up my car.
And finding a lovely orange and white beetle on the gas pump.
These roadside ruminations are only confirmed when I look the lovely orange and white beetle up in my field guide at home.
It’s not a beetle at all. This guy is an Ailanthus Webworm Moth, atteva punctella, a moth that tucks and rolls its wings under when resting so as to resemble an untasty beetle.
It’s a moth that disguises its beauty for safety.
It makes me sad. It’s not like those bugs that have large circles patterned on them to look like eyes, which are just kind of cool; this is an evolutionary behavior. And while that is admittedly pretty cool, I can’t help but draw parallels and form allegories. It’s what we humans do.
There are two lessons here today:
- There is everything, all around you, swirling in pattern and color and beauty you cannot even fully see or comprehend. Shame on you if you feel you have not “enough.” Be amazed at what you have.
- Though your safe face may in itself be beautiful: don’t be afraid to show your beauty in its full glory. Why hold back who you are? In what possible way is that not a disservice to you and those around you? Be you in every possible way. Be brave.
There’s a third lesson in there too, which is that I probably shouldn’t be allowed to blog on 4 hours sleep and two Blue Moons 🙂