Life is more than meets the eye
In the hours before dawn on June 20, 1976, at the age of 8, I arrived home with my parents and newborn sister.
I had mixed feelings about her.As an only child, I had always been the sole focus of my parents' attention. But it was more than that. My parents did what they were capable of, but neither were able to connect, be present, and recognize me as a sacred soul. My mother was distracted by inner tensions, “preoccupied” as she puts it. And my father, aware of a deep and scary inner cave, put a “face” on to shield me. As a kid I felt he was hiding his true self. Maybe was choosing the best of 2 evils.
It was a lonely childhood.
But instead of rejoicing at the future company of my sibling, I felt my sister would only make things worse. Already alone and adrift, I was certain my sister would dwindle the inadequate resources of love and attention to a trickle, a drop from a leaky faucet. And I was confused about why my parents had brought her into our lives. Didn't they know they did not have enough love even for me?
Bleary-eyed, I walked from the Suburban to the front door. We had left the light on in case we arrived after dark. And as I approached the door I was struck by the a magical sight. What looked like hundreds of moths of all shapes, sizes, and colors encrusted the screen of the door. And among the browns, whites, golds and earthy tones, a single Luna Moth, like a fairy, magical and other-worldly, captivated me. Even the moth as large as my hand did not draw my attention away from the silvery green glow of the mistress of the moon.
In hindsight, I recognize how amazing and magical it was. And with the gift of knowing my sister as she grew, I could see that the animal kingdom had come to pay its respects. It had turned out on the auspicious night of her birth to welcome one of its own. Because my sister is of one heart with all the creatures of the earth. Beyond all her other characteristics, her passionate love and unity with the animal kingdom shines supreme, the beacon of her being...
But as a lonely 8-year-old I just felt hurt. That this new child who had come to isolate me further from the love and affection I was already lacking was also, somehow, worthy of such a welcoming struck a blow. I felt unworthy, unloved by my parents and now, it seemed, unloved by the kingdom on nature.
It took years for me to heal the wounds of an isolated childhood, of the feelings of inadequacy and lack. I had believed the moths were there for my sister. But I came to see that this was not the whole truth. The moths came to welcome my sister, yes. But they came for me, perhaps brought by my sister’s soul, as a gentle call to remember my true nature. The Luna Moth was a glimmering reminder that life is more than meets the eye. “You are more than this,” she said, “and life is more than meets the eye." I hear her clearly now: "Remember who you are."