I first noticed them while at a stop light. Clustered together, their wings floated frivolously in the air, causing a constant distraction between my eyes and the road. From the drivers seat of my car, staring up through dirty windshields, I tried to analyze what kind of insects they were. They were small and brown. Familiar, but also not. Moths. After a few moments of consideration I had decided that they were moths flapping and floating through the air.
After I had gotten past the what, I quickly moved on to the why. As I drove down the boulevard that would take me home, it was easy to see that hundreds of moths were above me. All flying in the same direction. It was odd. And then it quickly became freaky. Didn’t moths symbolize death? Or is it an old wise folk tale? Were these bugs that were traveling so greatly in one direction trying to tell us something? Possibly something bad?
An earthquake. My heart sunk and I could feel my skin go cold. This is California, and the weather was gloomy (apparently these are two recipes for a earthquake). What if these bugs were all flying in the same direction as a sign that an earthquake was coming. A big one. One of my biggest fears. My mind had accepted this reality and instantly my anxiety went through the roof. I turned off the podcast I was listening to because what a panel of movie critics thought about the newly released Captain Marvel no longer mattered. As I continued the drive home I now stared at these insects in fear and dread, trying to remember if we had any supplies at home that could resemble an earthquake kit. Why don’t we have an earthquake kit? At stop lights I would grab my phone and google things like “symbolism of moths”, “can moths predict the weather?”, “moth and earthquakes”. Before reaching my home, I decided to make a stop at my neighborhood grocery store. I went in with the strict mission to get bottles of water and cans of Spam. My version of an earthquake kit. When I walked into my house, I went to my room and dropped down to my knees and asked God to spare us of whatever could be coming. I also asked him to ease my anxiety. The night went on and I felt better. No earthquakes.
At work the next morning my supervisor asked if anyone had seen the migrating monarch butterflies that had decorated the sky on the way home from work.
My supervisor continued by saying that it had made the news. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of butterflies that were all migrating north. Apparently they do this when winter is coming to an end because the food supply is better there. Everyone basked in how beautiful it was to see and I sheepishly agreed. Now I was no longer afraid, but upset.
Had I missed out on the beauty of butterflies making their way to a new home because I had allowed myself to believe and accept a lie? Yes, I had. And I was angry. The moment had come and gone, and instantly I wanted to go back. I wanted to relive that moment with this knowledge in mind and breathe in its beauty, not my fear. It hurt me to know that I had missed out on a special and unique gift that God was handing me because I had replaced it with some made up fear of the future.
I wonder if I am doing this with my season of singleness. Am I taking these precious moments of alone time and personal growth and focusing on one of my biggest fears of ending up alone in the future. Now while I do see the good in this season, I often struggle with seeing it as a gift entirely. My fears begins to interject and it becomes hard to rest in this moment.
Missing this opportunity (that was right in front of me by the way) to enjoy the beauty of a migration of monarch butterflies made me realize that if I am not careful, I could miss the complete beauty of what life is right now. In my singleness. It showed me that when my fears become strong because of some lie that I want to believe, I have to work to hand them over to God immediately so that I can enjoy this time, and this moment that he is handing to me right now. I don’t want to miss the gift that I have such a hard time seeing in this season.
I don’t want to miss the beauty in my migration.
One final note: Moths can’t fly in earthquakes. Just Incase you were curious.