A Gift to Hold

2013-05-15 Luna Moth 1These are older photos; goodness they date to 2013. But I wanted to share them because they reminded me a special chance-meeting.

In my prior home in Virginia, I noticed this gorgeous Luna Moth on my back porch covered in dew and unable to fly at sunrise. It was a target. Large, vibrant and green laying out in the open on my deck with no cover to hide it. The back yard met  undeveloped wetlands so other animals flying or crawling about was a constant.

Having a soft spot for all creatures great and small, I stepped outside with the thinnest absorption material I could find: a single ply shred of paper napkin. The moth was obviously struggling (to this day I wasn’t sure if it was dying (as their adult lifespans are 1-2 weeks if I recall) or if it was simply too dew-covered to move). It’s rare to see Luna Moths anymore, and I wanted to offer it care whether it was going or coming.

So I spent a few quiet moments there on my back deck before work, ever-so-softly touching the corner edge of the napkin to each dew drop to absorb the water away from its wings. Once I had most of it, I waited and took the photo above. The poor thing continued to struggle. It began curling it’s legs in and shuddering slightly. So I gently lifted it onto a paper towel to let it rest as it dried, knowing it was only a matter of time until a bird or some other animal found it. I carried it on the paper towel out into the woods and carefully tucked it under a leaf on a branch to either give it a chance to start it’s short life safely or for it to pass away in hiding before being found.

But in this moment, what a fragile, fleeting and ethereal little life to have held in my hand in the morning sun.

2013-05-15 Luna Moth 2

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