If They Were Never Here at All

Today I thought about how much the ladybugs entering my home drive me crazy. They’re everywhere. In our county, the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Ladybug) invades homes in search of warm places to overwinter. We’re not talking about one or two bugs. We’re talking about tens of thousands, according to Penn State University.

I vacuum them up. I seal off the windows and door frames. I turn off every light that draws them.

I’m curious about how quickly something precious and full of whimsy turns into a downright nuisance. When I was a girl, ladybugs symbolized great luck. It felt like a magical moment to find one on your arm or on your coat in grade school. Children even gathered ’round to observe the beautiful spotted insect. And remember that scene in Under the Tuscan Sun with the symbolic ladybug? It’s supposed to mark good fortune, love, and happiness. The ladybug makes one feel chosen and sacred.

But now? With so many here, I only immensely dislike them.

I think about rare things. I think about scarcity. I think about what we treasure because so little of it exists. It’s a strange phenomenon that rare things gain a certain value. The ladybug hasn’t changed; my perception of its value has.

I want to remember that everything about me might hold a precious and most sacred value if it weren’t here in abundance. I want to stay conscious of all that invades my life and know that, if I’m complaining about it, I might change my mind if it were never here at all.

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