Moths… and Moving On

19619903_153063195248888_642738850_oA beautiful Brimstone moth

When I was a little girl, I had the most magical experience which has stayed with me in clear and vivid detail, right to this very day.

It was when we lived in the cottage in the country, and we had the typical garden that goes with those types of converted cottages, flowers, bushes, a lawn, a pond… I was playing outside, lost in a world of my own imaginings, watched benevolently by Nikki, our German Shepherd at the time, and my black cat, Snoopy. They were often drawn into my games, and participated, bless them, with good heart.

In the rich brown earth, like crumbled fruit cake, under the bush near where we were playing, lay what looked like a curled up dead leaf. I prodded it, experimentally, as you do, and it wriggled… I was quite a curious and gentle child, and I wanted to prevent Snoopy from showing too much interest, so I picked it up and put it in the palm of my hand to examine a little more closely.

It wriggled again, and then, perhaps encouraged by the warmth of my hands, little splits appeared in the leaf-like surface, and a milky fluid started to seep out. The thing wriggled more enthusiastically, and then, before my enchanted, entranced and totally disbelieving eyes, a little miracle happened.

Slowly, a damp, crumpled creature emerged, and I recognised it as a moth… but what a moth! It sat, quite happily, in my hands, drying out and letting its wings dry and spread. Beautiful creature, I was amazed – I’ve never been able to repeat this experience, even though I’ve found other moth chrysalises.

As it dried, Mother Nature touched it with her delicate palette, borrowed from a sunset sky of pink and gold, each tiny hair on its body drying and fluffing, each miniature scale on its perfect wings powdered with gilt and rose. Antennae, as fine and sensitive as cats’ whiskers, quivered, and two tiny glowing eyes looked at me.

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I must have sat for about half an hour holding this little wonder, until it was dry enough to fly away. I later found out that this amazing creature was actually an Elephant Hawk moth… I have retained a fondness for moths of all variety of moths, from the slender brown ones and delicate white Plume moths to the flashy red Burnet moth to the cuddly brown furry ones, the Brian Blesseds of the Lepidopteric world… I try to prevent my cats from eating them, as they do a valuable job of pollinating night opening flowers…

Recently, I have been blessed with moth appearances from all branches of the family… to such an extent I wondered whether there was actually any symbolism attached to theses little night-fliers, and whether someone was trying to tell me something. I duly Googled “Moth Symbolism.”

In brief, although moths are more usually night time creatures, they seek the Light, consequently they symbolise determination, attraction, psychic abilities and faith. Intuition, higher awareness and psychic enhancement are all mentioned too. I don’t make any claim towards psychic ability – although I can sometimes freak my son out by my uncanny awareness of what he is doing… but despite, or perhaps because of, various things that have happened to me in my life, I have tried to maintain a path, a striving towards the Light – I’m nothing if not determined!

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Coincidentally – or maybe not – I have always felt spiritually drawn towards India and her mysticism… as I mentioned to a friend, in the past week I have met two men who have looked at me and said I should go to India… one man had just come back from Kerala and perhaps saw the interest in my eyes and said; “Go. You know you have to…” And then I had a very interesting conversation with a wonderful man who had the kindest and most peaceful blue eyes…

One final little gem… if you pardon the pun… the novel I’m writing is set in India…

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49 thoughts on “Moths… and Moving On

  1. One word “WOW” – I am terrified of moths as the sheer sizes of some are scary big. Plus our local folklore share that once these giant moths pays you a visit, it is a deceased relative visiting your home. It sits for days on your wall and then leaves.
    Love your pet cat named “Snoopy”…erm no “Garfield” ha ha!

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  2. You are brave! I’m really scared of things like moths (not to to mention their penchant for wool!) so they are removed (kindly) from our house fairly swiftly. Good luck with the novel, and maybe a future trip to India?

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  3. What an fantastic memory and another new thing to learn about you; Lepidoptera photography! More for the Instagram account methinks! Coincidentally my eldest fled from the shower a few nights ago claiming a bat had flown in. Turned out to be the biggest moth I’ve ever seen in the UK. No idea what it was mind as freshly soaked I had to put it out in a safe place to dry off a bit before it could wend it’s way to terrify other bathrooms!

    And a link to India too; this should be interesting to follow as we have trouble going to a Bloggers Bash!!! And, another AND, a book… you have started your book yes? Get in there Samantha! I joined CampNaNoMoWri for July to finish the paranormal brothers off… although that sounds rather final, given the context of the finale !!

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    1. Every time I read this I start laughing again..😸..I hope your son has recovered! Yes I keep getting these little lunar messengers, so they are duly photographed and sent on their way…
      We will do the Bloggers Bash for sure…funnily enough I knew exactly where the hotel was as well. Even if we just go and stand outside the venue and gibber for a bit…yep book is under way. Just need to practice linking/ travelling scenes…can’t do literary cutaways too often! This camp…the brothers…😨😱😨😱💕

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      1. I have since discovered the offending “bat”was (is if the beast survived) a Hawk moth. Apparently they love tobacco plants, which, coincidently, constitute a new bedding arrangement in the front garden. If I see another I will instagramly take a photo!

        Gosh, you knew the hotel! To me it’s a thing in that huge metropolis full of crowds and rush!!! Might be fun to risk anxiety and have a coffee jabber if nothing else!! Good show on the book though. Totally proud of you for starting that 😊 And yes, the brothers…I fear mental angst will follow the writing of the final parts 🤔

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      2. Obviously now I need to add these plants somewhere in the garden…I’d love to attract more moths. I was looking at lunar moths – beautiful and unlikely to harass teenage showerers as they are American…with the idea of having a tattoo of one. Only an idea. Far too cowardly…

        But yes…writing is under way…we totally have to meet up (tea though..) and do I need to stock up on tissues…😢😢😢😢

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      3. They have rather nice flowers too if I do say so myself. Not seen anymore since mind; moths that is of the bat sized variety. Could you not try a small tattoo first, to get a feel for it? Although its quite a leap out of the comfort zone I guess…just a thought maybe?

        Tea is fine; I have decaffeinated coffee anyway and that is rather pointless in reality. Good news on the writing though; very impressed by that…although the tissues sounds ominous. Are things alright?

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      4. I have a small tattoo..it would need a slightly larger one to cover it up…😢
        I meant tissues if you’re planning a fraternal massacre…( imagine breathless sobs and stifled weeping of the distraught Victorian maiden style..)

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      5. ohhh; so, not fear of tattoos then; just in going to get it done maybe 😉

        Ahh, I see your point; the game is afoot and all roads lead to Saturday (being the day in said book where all hell breaks loose…as it were). We know at least two have to survive though as they are in my blog series which is set later in time 🙂

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      6. I see your predicament; the images are easy on the eye, it’s the getting them in place that looks less appetising… idea and procrastination sounds like a good plan for now yes 😉

        Conrad is the dilemma; especially as he is falling for someone that has fallen for him!!!

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      7. Heheh…bet you can’t guess what picture I want..(eventually…when I miraculously overcome aforementioned all-consuming fears..)
        And how can Conrad falling for someone be an issue…take happiness where you can! Ah. Having said that….I wonder…🔮picture me peering short-sightedly into my crystal ball…

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      8. I thought you wanted a moth of some sort; not the dreaded bat moth surely? although they are impressive!
        Ah.. Conrad and the love; how about the trial of not getting what you want, even though both want to…just circumstances… say, for example, one person never comes out of the house they have to go into? a veritable tragedy

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      9. The bat moths would equate quite a large tattoo..(gulp) although I do love them. You can also get luna and atlas moths…ideally I want something that is recognisably moth-like in a small a design as possible but which will still co ver the old tattoo…maybe…

        And I refuse to speculate further about poor Conrad…😢😢😢😢

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      10. Very true, but would make a fine tattoo for the very brave! Maybe you could do a post with several small moths a voting form for best moth design to cover the aging one. See what your blog following like 🙂

        Well, after much procrastinating I have decided to begin again on Monday…so, as Holmes says, the game is afoot…. Archie has a list of those he must dispose of; Elisabeth is gunning for him and the trap is set….

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      11. Went to a couple of tattoo studios today to price cover ups. Turns out to cover up would definitely be cheaper than laser removal, which also looks horrifically painful…

        I like the idea of a blog poll… might not do it for tattoos (remember ‘Boaty McBoatface’?) However I’m considering it for helping me choose which writing project to pursue for November…

        A superb example of procrastinating – I commend you! Hope July camping (said in tones à la Kenneth Williams) is going well and productively 💕😺

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      12. My word, that was a very positive step for an introvert! I rather think laser removal sounds a tad nauseous as you rightly say. Might not be, but the risk of it being so must weigh heavy! Stick with a moth cover up methinks!

        Gosh, you in the for NaNo in November? I’m hoping finishing my current one will open the door for the short story re-write into a novel proper with clearer direction on this wayward brother will give an assist there.

        Trick with the poll is to put up things you like, but have difficulty choosing. Thus avoiding Boaty type entries!!

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  4. Beautiful post…see now, you threw me for a loop…I thought you were going to write about how excited the cats get when there’s a moth in the house (with pictures, of course) and instead we’re treated to this moving story about the beauty of nature…embodied by moths! ❤

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  5. I had a similar up-close experience at age 5, but with a spider. Maybe that’s why I find spiders so fascinating — not at all terrifying. But then, I’ve raised both moths and butterflies from caterpillars through metamorphosis. Their life cycles are so intriguing and magical, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t love them.

    I know a few young people who have spent at least a month wandering in India. I think it’s going to be important for you to pay particular attention to the smells for authenticity. I also highly recommend reading Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram. Will you think about sharing a few chapters of you WIP here?

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    1. I put a picture on Instagram you would have liked..fascinated me. There was a ball of tiny baby spiders hanging on a plant near the fence..as soon as they felt the slightest vibration, they all split up, then when they felt it was safe they re-balled…
      But yes, moths and butterflies are so magical through the very nature of their transformation, I find them fascinating.
      Yes, so far, my research shows smell, taste, colour are very important for authenticity…I’m breaking the cardinal rule…write what you know…but the idea and imagery are so vivid and persistent! Great recommendation, thank you, I shall definitely check that out – much appreciated 😺💕😺💕xx

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  6. Love moths! (Is that blue one in your photo for realsies? Amazing – it looks like a nebula in the night sky!) Perhaps one of our most spectaular moths is the Luna; we used to get them occasionally at the cottage, but I haven’t seen one in probably 40 years, no doubt due to loss of environment. I think my favourite has to be the clearwings, also known as hummingbird moths because of their big, heavy bodies and resemblance to the birds.

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    1. I had to look up Luna moths…amazing! They look like something Pixar would make…yes, that moth is real! No filters or anything on my phone camera, must be some variant on usual peppered moth colouring. The elephant haawk moth is my favourite – we still get a few, flying across the garden in the evening, competing with the bats…

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  7. Wow, what a beautiful moment you experienced! And the pictures of the moths are so pretty; we get a lot of dark-coloured moths here, like the giant Lyssa Zampa tropical moth that’s bigger than my hand. 😆

    The Chinese here believe that whenever these big black moths come to your residence, it means a deceased family member has come to visit. There was once one came outside my apartment front door, but its wings were torn so it couldn’t fly; I kept it in a shoebox and fed it sugar water soaked into cotton buds, and it was kind of cute when its feelers perked up at the sugar water! Sadly it didn’t make it through the night. 🙁

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