Ladybugs

My words feel clunky today. I’m sitting here listening to The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection in part because I’m trying to inspire my own writing of children’s literature and am hopeful that listening to some of my own childhood favorites might help and in part because it feels like about all my brain might handle. Sometimes the mind is just simply slow.

I wonder how to inspire the flow of words? There are so many stories to tell. How do they come to light? It seems like it should be easier, not to write a final product but to create an initial draft to simply gather ideas and set them to paper.

Yesterday, I spent the morning at Taliesin. Thursdays are their day for gardening. Yesterday was my first day to join the gardening volunteers. We spent a few hours weeding the rhubarb then headed on to Tan-y-Deri and the Engineer’s Cottage for an hour or so of cleaning the patio and garden around the cottage of weeds. It was just a small group of us, three volunteers and two staff together on a beautiful day enjoying the perfect weather, light conversation, stories of the buildings, the residents, and the artist who’d designed them–Frank Lloyd Wright. There were stories of what brought each of us to volunteer. A fellow doing service hours, a woman enjoying the beginning of her retirement, and me. It seems that there should be so much to write here and maybe there is. I’m sure that there is, but the words seem tired today.

The only piece that seems even a bit alive came near the end of the morning. I was sitting on the steps near the Engineer’s Cottage trying to figure out which plants were weeds to pull and which were meant to be in the overgrown patch I sat beside. It was then that I saw the tiny pinkish red fellow with the black spots. It was a ladybug, an actual ladybug, not one of those evil Asian lady beetles that have invaded my house. I was so struck that I had to call over one of my fellow volunteers to take a look and confirm my analysis. Yes, it was a ladybug. There were a whole crew of them there crawling amidst the leaves. It seems both sad and strange that such a thing would be the highest moment of life in an otherwise lovely and enjoyable morning. Still, they were ladybugs, meant to be there and too often no longer seen. So seldom seen, at least by me, that I was surprised by the shape of their bodies and the pinkish tint to their shells. I stopped pulling weeds there lest I take anything that they need to survive. I can only hope that they find the food and shelter that they need. They gave me hope. They still give me hope.

I don’t know why the words are clunky and tired today or when the stories will come to life, but the ladybugs survive and with work and good fortune so will I.

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