Dear Spirit to Spirit friend,
They have an official species name: Halyomorpha halys. We commonly refer to them as "stink bugs." And, most people have no fondness for them. We shudder and scrunch our noses at the thought of them as they have a famous stinky secretion they use as their defense.
Yes, they are considered an agricultural "pest" as they have traveled far from their countries of origin, like Japan, to be here. And, here they are, part of our lives.
If we look beyond appearances and our own instinctual reactions and preconceived ideas about them, is it possible that we can discover something to appreciate about them, perhaps even have some kind of connection with them as another living being on our planet?
Some weeks ago, I had a stink bug visitor in my home. I fondly called him Mr. Stinky as a way of making a light and easy connection with this little being. He had delightful energy, was an eager little mover and shaker who was completely enjoying roaming around my kitchen. It made me smile watching him, this happy little stinky.
And...a dilemma. My residence is not his and it is winter. I could not safely put him outside.
I did a little research and found out that stink bugs live well into autumn. It dawned on me that the garage would be a good choice, able to house him at 50 something degrees, like an autumn night. So I brought him there, thinking I was doing a good thing for him- and for me- and wished him good night. Little did I know.
When I went into the garage the next day, he had died right where I had left him. My heart hurt at the sight of him. In the name of doing what I thought was a right/good thing, I had made a terrible choice and this tiny being lost his life. That really hurt.
So, of course, as Life and the Universe would have it, I was sent another "test". Two weeks later, I noticed a stink bug enjoying a walk in my living room. It actually lifted my spirits seeing another stinky even though the dilemma was in front of me again. What to do.
And then it came to me. My utility room, where it is always summery warm. So, with his cooperation, I ushered Mr. Stinky 2 onto a tissue and brought him into the utility room, letting him know that this was his living space. He seemed quite content meandering about, enjoying all the nooks and crannies of the room. I wished him a good day and welcomed him to live his life for as long as he could here.
Each day I checked on him. One day I would see him happily exploring. The next, I wouldn't see him at all. Two days ago, I opened the door and there was Mr. Stinky 2, lying on his back, legs moving in the air. I helped him turn over and noticed that his color had changed to a pale tan. A sign of end of life. Slowly he wandered off, his usual bright energy gone from his body.
The next day, he was nowhere to be found.
In a curious kind of way, we had made a connection and he felt like a little friend. I was at peace having made what felt like the best possible choice for him, one that honored his life. And I felt an appreciation for this tiny being and the opportunity I had to connect through him into his world... even for just short time in our lives.
And so it may be possible with others of all species- all shapes and sizes- all kinds of expressions of life- to share moments of connection. If we can allow ourselves to open to the uniqueness of each one. To the preciousness of each being, each soul, no matter what our initial feelings or reactions are.
Then, we may be privileged to experience something surprising... an experience of a kind of connection we would never have thought possible. And, a doorway that may open us into greater kindness, appreciation, and empathy for all beings.
In Gratitude & Love, Joanna