An annoying little sadness.

For a week now, there’s been two moths in my flat. I’m not scared of moths but I don’t like them in my space, especially as they’ve become more panicked in the last days and taken to flapping around my head. I’ve been chasing them around with a drinking glass and an envelope, hoping to put them outside. I’m loath to use poison but they’ve been driving me mad. I don’t understand how a moth can repeatedly bang into a wall, hard enough to make a distracting splat! noise, and yet not knock itself out. My hunch is that if they did knock themselves out, they’d put both themselves and me out of our respective misery. Plus I’d easily be able to collect them and lay their little unconscious bodies among the petunias in the window box on my balcony.

Last night I successfully trapped one of the two moths under a glass. I didn’t even need to use the envelope I’d left on my dining table ready for moth-trapping; the poor thing was so disoriented that it clung, apparently completely bemused, to the side of the glass for me to carry it outside. The second moth continued to flutter around and attempt to flatten itself against any solid surface – including the side of my head – for the remainder of the evening, resisting all my attempts to trap it or trick it outside.

This morning when I woke up, the moth was lying quiescent in the middle of my sitting room floor. Triumphantly I seized the glass and the envelope, and clapped the glass down over the moth before it could think better of stillness and start to flutter around my head again – only to realise that the moth was dead.

When they’re alive, they move too fast to really look at. And, to be honest, these two were too annoying to really take the time to appreciate their beauty. But this creature, this former tiny soul, this little insignificant scrap of the Sacred, now no more – it lay silent and still on the floor. It was big for a moth, as big as the circle my thumb and my finger can make when they come together; it was the colour of a dark raincloud in the moments before it gives up its load; its wings were dusted with silky powder. Its body was small but dense and heavy and furry and it had impossibly delicate whispers of antenna, and it was hard to believe that such a solid little creature, such a tiny force of life, was no more. This small creature, so insignificant, and yet with the tenacity to keep slamming itself into walls in its hopeless search for light and the outside world…

Of course, I had to go about my day. I have a finite amount of time in the mornings to do a number of things before I leave for work; I don’t have time to mourn moths. But as I quietly disposed of the small corpse, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad that this small fleck of Sacred life was no longer in this world.

There’s one more moth flapping about the halls of heaven. Probably annoying the life out of the angels running around with drinking glasses and envelopes…

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3 thoughts on “An annoying little sadness.

  1. Angels in heaven running around with drinking glasses and envelopes… there’s been an angel on earth running around with drinking glasses and envelopes all week!

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