For the past two months or so I have been doing what I can to support a friend whose husband is very ill. I'm not too good in these situations, but I am pretty skilled at just sitting there and providing company. Went to visit them both at the hospital the other week. It was a long day.
At lunch my friend and I went to the hospital cafeteria, then took a walk through the gardens located in an open air space in the center of the hospital. This slender green "room" with a koi pond, mature trees and benches for meditation, surrounded by four stories of hospital windows was more comfortable than a waiting room.
The two of us sat and talked; well I should say she talked and I sat. While she spoke I looked at the sky, I watched the tree branches, new with spring leaves, blow in the wind, I stared at my feet...
After an hour of sitting in this lush rectangular room, I noticed a ladybug walking across the cement path. The cement had squared grid of groves, at the appropriate places, formed when it was first poured. Straight lines, that in my mind, would make a quicker path for the bug to get to the safe haven of hedges that lined each side.
The ladybug just walked, randomly, as if lost. Wobble. Wobble. Meandering about as best those little legs could maneuver. It was relaxing to watch.
"What am I going to do?" said my friend, "I am so worried, and stressed, haven't slept in two days."
We both sat in silence, watching the ladybug negotiate the crossing of a straight line ravine, missing the turn towards a quicker route along the canyon wall. Somehow it seemed to talk to me. I know my friend was also watching it. What was it saying?
Perhaps, something like "Its the journey in life that is valuable, not speed" or the opposite, "Simplify your life by taking the proven straight paths, so you don't get lost like -a ladybug on a sidewalk."
How simple life's journey seems when viewed from above.
Before we left I picked up the ladybug with a twig and placed it onto the hedge. Why didn't the bug fly here?
This was just one of those days, one of those moments I couldn't shake. The image of that afternoon has stayed with me.
Assumptions? I made many. I assumed the ladybug was lost, unable to fly, lonely, hungry looking for food, a friend or a mate.
Well, maybe, just maybe, the ladybug was out for a walk...