Clinging to antediluvian violet granite
at the foot of the Terry Fox memorial
in Thunder Bay
a magnificent hand-sized moth
captures my curiosity.
It’s immobile—like the lonely bronze above.
Is it dead? Alive? What genus is it?
To discern its taxonomy without disturbance
I capture serenity on camera.
Maroon costal margins frame
gossamer pistachio-green wings
each flaunting eyespots
mocking Maybelline make-up
burgundy lids, blue liner and lemon iris
definitely predator deterring
peach feathered antennae fashion
exquisite mesmeric finery
a tinge of maroon borders long yellow tails
their split ends proffer
designer acoustic camouflage.
“Spotting a Luna moth is rare!
And significant! Expect change!”
my octogenarian mystical friend opines
—wittily—as we road-trip across Canada
moving her closer to family in Squamish.
Can a namesake of the moon goddess Luna
—apotheosis of metamorphosis herself—
actually be a harbinger of transformation?
After eating leaves as well as each
exoskeleton of five larval molts
the Luna larva spins a silk cocoon
—her pupa home for months.
Finally emerging, her glorious
wings appear and dry within hours
allowing nocturnal flight
to a cedar, birch or hickory tree
where she waits, mates,
then deposits two hundred descendents
under a leaf or two.
Reproduction complete she rests.
So… I wonder….
What does Luna’s memorable manifestation
on the monument to Canada’s
throbbing hobbled steps
into a cause for hope
even while anticipating death,
Sagacious seer Luna is not.
Waiting serenely to breathe her last
within just ten days of her emergence,
Luna’s ephemeral splendor evokes awe
and for this ardent grandmother
—a disconcerting envy.
I rarely rest readily
yet on brutal pain-filled days
when exhaustion reigns
and serenity recedes
brevity beckons persuasively.
Luna’s embodiment of transformation,
the tranquility and transience
of her open resting wings,
revive my resolve
to pursue each brief day’s brave offering
of sanguinity—in ease—and in suffering.
I aspire to realize equanimity
long before my descendants deposit
the ashes of my by-then-tattered wings
at the foot of a paper bark birch
a memorial along the Grand River
where the wind blows
where it will.
Existence exacts surrender
(photo credit: Violet Lark Chin-Douma)