A little Messenger in the garden has graced me with his (or her) wisdom three times now, over the course of three days of lunching en plein air with Joseph. Not so little, actually. She’s a glittering, iridescent green, Figeater beetle, loud as a lawnmower, and she has insisted on landing in my hair while I’m eating. Which means she’d become a totem for me, my beetle totem.
The third time she landed, she stayed so long Joseph was able to grab the camera for her closeups. I finally had to urge her gently away because lunch was over. I will admit, I kept asking Joseph, “What is she doing? Is she leaving anything behind?!?”
Yes, she was. A message that I should be the one leaving things behind.
This San Diego beetle is so large, she kept tugging the hair at the top of my head as she explored at my shoulder. I did happen to be eating one of Joseph’s breakfast puddings with figs and chocolate in it, but she wasn’t interested in that. I’ve read that these beetles, related to Egyptian scarabs, aren’t interested in fresh fruit. They like the stuff that’s already decomposing. (Good news for Joseph’s pudding, which was delicious, of course!)
So what could I do but look up the meaning of this close animal encounter in the trusty Animal-Speak Pocket Guide. When a creature gets right in your face, or exhibits unusual behavior in a way that definitely says, “Hey! I’m talking to you,” it’s wise to pay attention. One of your Cosmic CoAuthors is trying to reach you and you’re not getting it. Time to send in the animal totem!