Enormous Joy

Purple MouthGrabbing a glass of water at the kitchen sink I noticed a little moth, tan-colored, on the inside of the window trying to get out. I put a glass over it and slid a sheet of paper underneath and carried it outside.

The moth fluttered out of the glass and tumbled to the ground. For maybe a minute it lay still between the grass strands, then flapped a wing, made a short stumbling flight a few inches, then again, and again, flew a foot and fell to earth once more.

It seemed to summon strength. I stood watching and willing it on, conscious that my leaving a window open had invited it into the house.

Then the moth took off, climbing then dropped toward earth but climbed higher, spinning up into the warm morning sun, spiraling even higher then turned suddenly for the trees a hundred feet away, darted for them, faster and faster, and I had a sudden surge of awareness of that moth’s soaring flight of great and unbelieving joy to be given the chance to live again.

One moment he or she was dying of thirst against the impenetrable invisible glass, able to watch the world but not reach it, the next moment high in the midmorning blue sky, in the cool wind, the glorious green of tree boughs just ahead. And in that second this little insect’s joy was so enormous I felt it too.

Just as being in a house had doomed that moth, so living inside the boxes of our minds dooms us to a bland awareness, and we miss much of the world’s secret messages, or the joy of a moth. And that’s part of why I wrote SAVING PARADISE, because that joy, that unique joy, is lost too when paradise is trashed.

If we want to live deeply we must stop destroying what is left of the world.

Best-selling novelist, environmental activist and war and human rights journalist, Mike Bond can be reached at http://www.MikeBondBooks.com.

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