Giant insects invaded my bedroom yesterday, lounged on my bed, took in the view from the window. Most likely they were a type of Katydid, who share their slice of the insect world with Cicadas, Grasshoppers and Locusts. Yes, Locusts, emblems of plagues, bringers of the ends of a world, and wreckers of general havoc and destruction. I closed the window after capturing this alien under tupperware and transferring it outside. Its bright green body somehow blended in with my grey bedspread. It crept across, long-legged, on its tiptoes. The antennae didn’t simply move, they articulated through the air. Sensing. Perceiving. I remember its eyes as bright orange, and the whole time we stalked each other, its abdomen pulsed.
I thought he (she) was the only one. Wrong. Half way through my yoga session, snippets of a song shattered the air. I found and captured the second one simultaneously as I made dinner plans with a girlfriend on the phone. I was proud of myself in that moment. I hate bugs. Can’t stand them, or being touched by them. Even more so, I absolutely cannot tolerate killing them. Here, I’d confronted my fear. Sure, I could have been more graceful about it. Amid the revulsion and mild squeaking, I took care of it on my own.
Fast forward a few hours, I came back home, went into my room. Despite everything that’d happened last week, I was in a good mood. Hopeful, and positive. Florence + the Machine pulled out my demons as I sang along and didn’t care if anyone could hear. Then I saw it. This Katydid didn’t have a song. It stood on the wall like a shadow. Poised.
My roommate and her girlfriend said the Katydids must be a totem. I believed them, even before I found the one on the window, and the fifth and final Katydid that flew at me, sent me running and squealing in front of my roommate. I wasn’t proud of that moment. I told her so. Still, I trapped and released all five of them.
When I returned from removing the fifth one, Kali had identified the bugs, and found out what they meant. Here’s what she read to me:
Katydid teaches attunement to new vibrations and will aid in heightening intuition, sensitivity and awareness. They teach transformation in five stages as part of the molting process. Is it time to shed old ideas to make way for the new? Expect changes and new developments that will bring growth through reflection and patience as the sensitivity to mental, emotional and physical challenges are coming are your way. Katydids also teach the art of camouflage and the ability to evolve and use many survival techniques. Are you adapting to your surroundings? Are you blending in or standing out? Katydid will aid in strengthening senses and perceptions of the seen and unseen so whatever transformation stage you are in will be a time to be aware; mentally and spiritually sharp.
How can I not find meaning in this? This has not been the easiest year of my life. In fact, after reflecting on it, the last two and a half years have had a lot of destruction. The end of my marriage, the death of two loving companions (my dog and my grandmother), leaving behind two homes and a host of friends I loved, and now the ending of another love relationship. Part of me wonders if it’s karma, but the more I scrutinize things, the less right that feels.
That five katydids visited me in my most private and personal space might be chance, might easily be explained away by the fact that the bush outside my window could be infested with them and a percentage of them would naturally have ended up in my room. However, I cannot ignore the coincidence. Or the overwhelming feeling that transformation is upon me. That this is the time to open up, to pay attention, and to learn from my past, and the current emptiness so that I can rebuild myself and live according to my own truth.