Saturday, June 26, 2010

Insect Respect

I love butterflies. I always have since I was a kid…hence my Twitter username (@BufferflyBrie). Of course, when I was little, they were taken in as more of a “Oooh, look how pretty!” instead of seriously considering the beauty of nature. Now that I’m 21, God’s creations mean more to me than I ever thought they possibly could. I’m not going to say that I adore all of the insects of the world…I could definitely do without spiders and centipedes…but in the last couple of years, I’ve grown to view the meaning of insects in a whole new light. I’m about to share a story with you of something that happened to me today. Depending on the level of emotion you possess, this may strike you as a little sad/bittersweet. Just a word of caution.

This afternoon I drove my mom to our local greenhouse so she could take a look around at the plants. Mom has a newfound love for hanging plants. While she looked around, I noticed something wriggling near the ground. As I looked closer, I could make out the shape of a fly caught in a web. Now insects in webs have always upset me. Whether this stems from a general hate of spiders or purely the agonizing pain which the insect is being putting through, I don’t know. So I took my foot and lightly pushed him out of the web. He was grateful for this, and thanked me by flying up my skirt. This did not impress me, so after doing an uncomfortable shaky dance for a minute, he flew away, much to my happiness. Then I saw a butterfly. I could feel a smile come over my face as I watched her happily land on flowers and fly beautifully past me. I followed her outside and continued to watch her for a minute.

Then as my mom talked to the store’s owner, I felt something land on my shoulder. A bit frightened, I took a peek and saw an insect’s head staring at me. I panicked and smacked it, causing it to fall to the ground. When I got up the courage to look at what it was…there was a dying dragonfly. Its wings were trying to move as it lay on its back. As tears filled my eyes, my mom came over and saw it. She tried to gently put it on its stomach to give it strength. As she did this, you could see it start to regain a bit of energy, much to my relief. However, it still did not look like it could ever recover to a normalcy of flying. The owner came over and brought it outside to put on a plant. Whether it survived this, I don’t know. And I don’t think I would want to know. But I don’t think I will ever forget doing that. My heart hurt for it as we exited the store, but I felt a sense of lightness when the butterfly from before came and circled around me, almost to let me know that everything was okay. To me, it was a sign from God that He wasn’t upset with me. After all, it was an accident.

To see that dragonfly wriggling in pain that I myself caused was one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced in the entire world. I hate causing pain in people; I’ve damaged someone’s feelings before and I made a vow to myself to never do it again. Thankfully, I’ve kept my promise thus far. I hate causing pain in animals; I’ve stepped on my dog’s paw before accidentally and listened to her cry. The hurt you cause in others is absolutely painstaking. This pain that I feel inside of me whenever I cause the pain in others, is something that I never thought would affect me this badly when it happened to insects. But I’ve grown and realized the importance of preserving nature.

We have all stepped on insects, whether on purpose or by mistake, but we rarely sit and think about what we’re doing. Some of you may not believe in God, which is fine…I will not judge you. So please don’t judge me and accept that I’m a God-fearing individual who believes that He put everything on this planet for a particular reason. Whichever reason that is, I can’t say that I know. But there is a purpose to everything.

The purpose of this blog post is to beg you all to stop and smell the roses…literally. Nature is to be cherished, not destroyed. You all must know that I’m not a “going green” type of person. There are many things I should be doing to help the environment, which I don’t. However, I do what I can right now, which includes turning off lights to preserve electricity, recycling, and when I can, saving insects. I had a discussion recently with some Twitter friends about insects and how I try to save as many as I can, including ants. Have you ever watched the determination of an ant before? They are hard little workers and have much to do in life.

I want to share an anonymously-written poem that was sent by a friend of mine, Shirley (@irishgirl127). She is recovering from back surgery at this time, so please say an extra prayer for her. Shirley, this poem is for you.

"The Oak Tree"
A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground while other trees fell all around...
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing, Oak?"
The oak tree said, "I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth, growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn't sure
Of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found, with thanks to you
I'm stronger than I ever knew.
Especially now, try to remember that you're stronger than any problem you encounter.”

There are too many awful things going on in this world to not care. The oil spills, the natural disasters, continued wars and killings. While many of these cannot be prevented, we need to take action to save our insects. Whether or not you want to believe it, they help this world to be as beautiful as it is today. So please…if you happen to find an insect on its back in need of a hand, please turn it over. They are grateful for our assistance. They need our help to survive this world.

Your friend,

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