My family says that I am an animal whisperer, I can walk up to a barking dog and pet it. The wild cats around the river allow me to pet them when no one else seems to take the time. Birds land close by and don’t seem to mind me much, I usually sit very still and watch them. I find a moth in the house, I will catch it and set it free, outside. I’ll catch a lizard, (just to see if I am still fast enough) pet it, then let it go. When I found out that lady-bugs eat mosquitos… they became my new found friend.

While hunting for zen, (searching the internet for a story that grabs my attention or inspires me) I found the following story about a lady-bug and it truly sounded like something I would do. The added comments from the author set my mind a blaze with how zen like such a little thing grew into a bigger picture. I hope you enjoy this write as much as I did.  Art~


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Short story about a ladybird beetle

By … A Reason For Living (blog)

I was on the train on my way to Eindhoven when I suddenly felt a crawling sensation on my left hand while I was sitting and starring at the landscapes of Netherlands through the train window. I looked at my hand and I saw a tiny ladybird beetle. It was probably a baby, for it only had two black spots on the wings (one on each) and looked smaller than normal size ladybirds.
Letting it crawl on my fingers I was thinking how in the world did this thing got on the train and how would it get out. I looked at all windows around me, but I couldn’t find a single one which could be opened.
Feeling the tiny feet tickling my skin I was musing of how my hands must feel from the perception of a ladybird. My skin certainly feels different than the surface of a tree, a leaf or a petal, a world which was way more familiar to the ladybird….
While all these thoughts were going through my mind, the tiny beetle started crawling on the large train window. It was crawling all the way up and then being unable to find its way out it flew down and started crawling up again… It repeated the same thing several times… I saw that the movements of the poor thing were getting slower with each attempt. It must have been frustrating to see the familiar world outside, yet being unable to break free and get there.
My mind made an allusion to a human life… How often do we try to crawl up, yet, being unable to find what we are looking for up there we fall down. Yet we keep on trying and trying, again and again. Trying to achieve a goal, trying to reach to the stars, trying to live, trying to survive…
How often do we have a feeling of being behind a glass, being passive observers of the world outside, being unable to take actions and being not free to make decisions? How do we feel when we simply cannot break the window and find our way out?
Observing the ladybird, I was thinking that this little bug was breaking all kind of conventions. Getting somewhere where it did not belong. Getting into the realm of human beings, on the train, where instead of flowers, leaves and petals, there is metal, leather and plastic. How foreign it must have felt for a tiny creature like that to be there… Yet, how adventurous it has been for a small beetle like this to travel hundreds kilometers away from its home and its familiar place…
I felt sorry that I couldn’t set the bug free. In order to pass to the main door on that train, it was necessary to pass at least through one door which would open automatically if a human being would approach, but the door would remain shut should the ladybird appear standing in front of it. Its size would have been too insignificant for the door sensors.
I knew that should the ladybird stay on that train, it would have never survived, so my brain was searching for a solution of how to get that thing off the train.
We were approaching Eindhoven and I only had 15 minutes left on the train, so I had to think fast. I was reviewing all objects in my backpack which could have been suitable for organizing an escape of the ladybird beetle from the train. And then suddenly the solution was clear. In front of me on the table was standing my paper coffee cup. I bought a cup of coffee on the train station in Venlo. I drank the coffee and now the cup was empty… An easiest thing would have been to get the ladybird into a coffee cup. Yet, I didn’t want the ladybird to die in the rest of the coffee drops. I am not a specialist in ladybirds after all and  I wasn’t sure if coffee could be harmful for it. So I opened the coffee cup, took some paper tissues from my backpack and placed them inside of the coffee cup. Then I got up a bit from my seat and tried to put the ladybird inside of my coffee cup. It took me about a minute to get the beetle inside of the cup. The people who were sitting around me were watching me speechless. Finally, I got the ladybird inside of my cup and closed the lid…
When I got out in Eindhoven, the first thing I did was that I opened the cup and let the ladybird to crawl out on the tree, which was growing near the train station…
Going to the workshop on integration in Tilburg I wanted to stretch a helping hand to a living creature who has been trapped in an unknown world. I wanted to help it to be free again and to have another chance to live…  
It did not matter to me what other people might think of me. I think it happens very often that we choose not doing something (even though we know that somebody might benefit from it) simply because we do not want our own group to think that we are not following conventions of our society… But if you think deeper, when we choose not to help somebody in the situation of frustration or despair because we so much depend on the opinions of the members of our own group, it is actually us who are trapped behind the glass. Trapped inside of our own framework of beliefs, thoughts, rules, etc. And this kind of prison is the hardest to escape from…
By giving each other chances to live, by giving each other chances to start something again we do not only set the other one free, but we also free ourselves.
Furthermore, the help which we provide  has to be adequate for a particular situation and circumstances: “paper inside of the coffee cup” is a small gesture that can save a life… and maybe more…
may a lady-bug land on you and bring you good luck!