Actias luna, the luna moth, is an exotic, lime-green, Nearctic Saturniid moth in the family Saturniidae. It has a wingspan of up to 114 mm (4.5 in), making it one of the largest moths in North America. Lovely design, God!
This moth doesn’t eat and lives only one week in its moth state, its purpose being to reproduce. It is usually seen at night; the one featured may have been just beginning its life, resting on the dock after emerging from its cocoon or it could be at the other end of its cycle. Because they gravitate towards light in the darkness of the night, the luna moth is seen as a symbol of spiritual transformation, of heightened awareness, a striving towards truth and, therefore, of rebirth and new beginnings.
The length of human life varies, from a minute or two, to those who celebrate with more than 100 candles on their cakes. Each life is unique and every one has an impact on the world. Each life is a gift of God. What are you doing with yours? Think about it.
The phrase Carpe Diem, attributed to Quintius Horatius Flaccus or Horace for short, who lived just before the birth of Christ, is often translated as “Seize the Day” but an even richer rendering is “enjoy the day” or even “embrace life”. In Deuteronomy Chapter 30 Moses preaches to the Israelites, “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God…” The Psalmist in Psalm 16 prays “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy.” And in the Gospel of John, Chapter 10, Jesus says this “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Carpe diem, embrace life! That doesn’t mean being degenerate or uncaring about others. It doesn’t mean running away from future planning, bucket lists or responsibilities. It does mean embracing change and growth, taking care of and appreciating the gift that has been given! If you need to do something to improve your health, do it. If you are in debt, get out of it. If you have more money than you need, give some away. If your relationships are a mess, do something about them, get professional help or make a change. If you feel distant from God, it wasn’t God who moved. Talk to God! Talk to your priest! If you don’t have balance in your life, take a step in the right direction. No one ever said on their deathbed “I wish I had spent more time at work.” If you are hanging on to bitterness, or hurt, a grudge, unforgiveness or pride, give it up. If you are feeling isolated, useless or marginalized, choose to spend time with people, being helpful, being a positive influence, making a difference in their world. Are these Lenten disciplines? Yes! And Easter disciplines, Pentecost disciplines, Advent…
Though we as Christians rejoice in the hope and promise that is eternal life, this earthly life is the first one we have been given, the gift, the present. Give thanks to God for it, don’t’ waste it. “Life ain’t no dress rehearsal.” Carpe Diem.
Non-Recipe: Next time you go grocery shopping, buy a piece of fruit or a vegetable you have never had before. Do you know what the inside of a dragon fruit looks like? How do enoki mushrooms taste? Pick out a wedge of cheese you have never had and buy some unusual crackers. Buy an unfamiliar ice cream. (Share!)Try differently shaped pasta, instead of ‘elbows’…orecchiette, farfalle or ruote!