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How Precious A Life

A spiritual lesson from a camel cricket

Image By Steve Byland @ shutterstock,com (purchased standard license)

Confession time — my nemesis for a while now has been the camel cricket. They are hideous to look at, reminding me of some prehistoric creature come back into existence to taunt me.

I’d lived all of my life up to 2015 without ever seeing one of these grotesque versions of a cricket. I’d moved back from Oklahoma to Virginia to stay with my ailing father in 2014 and one day in early January of 2015, I walked into the bathroom to have a shower and there, on the wall, perched this thing with long legs and a humped back. I shivered at the sight of it (mind you, I love spiders and am not afraid of them, but this thing…). I ran down the stairs and into the kitchen, grabbed a container and lid, and returned to the bathroom. I meant to capture it and put it outside, but it was gone. I could find no trace of it anywhere, but it wouldn’t be the last time I’d see one. They’d become regular fixtures during the cold months, showing up everywhere, even on my bed!

When I returned to Oklahoma in 2018, I was grateful because I’d seen zero camel crickets from 2005 until 2014 while living there. I would be escaping from those nasty buggers! However, it would take only a couple of months for my nemesis to appear. January, as before. Had they followed me from Virginia? That was a scary thought!

Over the past couple of years, I have tried to reason with these creatures (I’ve done this with spiders, so I figured it would work with camel crickets too). Yes, you can come into the house, just do not surprise me. Yes, I will let you live and gently put you back outside if I see and capture you. However, camel crickets will not be reasoned with. They’ve continued to haunt and taunt me, showing up whenever and wherever they please. And 90% of the time when I’ve attempted to capture them, they hop off into oblivion, as though going through a portal. Now before you think I am being hyperbolic here, I assure you, I am not. I have searched entire rooms for them, picking up things, moving things, and those little buggers are nowhere to be found. How is that possible? Portals, I swear!

So imagine my surprise today when I stepped on one of these creatures. How was that possible? Hadn’t they always hopped away when I approached them? Why did one remain still so that I would step on it? To teach me a lesson, that’s why. And what a lesson it is.

If you’ve never stepped on a camel cricket, then you cannot imagine the horrible popping sound they make. Not loud like popping bubble wrap. No, this is a low, last gasp sound of a dying creature. Pop. And when I lifted my foot and saw what I had done, I wept. I gathered the little creature onto a paper towel and took it outside, gently placing it on a pile of dead leaves. My thinking was that its relatives would have a place to come mourn it, if they do such a thing.

After that small gesture, I turned to my rituals — I reiki~ed the situation and then chanted the Ho’oponopono forgiveness prayer:

I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
Thank you.

And now, after spending an hour contemplating the lesson this small creature was sent to teach me, I believe I know what it is:

Mine and its path crossed today to remind me that all life is precious, even those beings/creatures that we find horrible, despicable, or grotesque. Right now in the USA, we are living in a divided country where each side views the other as horrible, despicable and/or grotesque. We’ve devalued one another’s humanity to the point that we see the other as less than, unworthy even to live. And we need this to stop before we hear the collective last gasp of the dying.

If you are an energy worker, light worker, Reiki practicioner/Master, or perform other means of raising our collective vibrations above all of this pettiness, I encourage you — do the work. Perform mantras, such as the Ho’oponoopono forgiveness prayer. Chant. Drum. Pray. Whatever it takes. We need to rise above all of this and show empathy, compassion and love for all creatures, especially our own species.

© 2021 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

Lori Carlson writes Poetry, Fiction, Articles, Creative Non-Fiction and Personal Essays. Most of her topics are centered around Relationships, Spirituality, Life Lessons, Mental Health, Nature, Loss, Death, and the LGBTQ+ community. Check out her personal Medium blog here.



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