A while ago – at least a month, I should think – I walked out of our apartment and spotted a little ladybug sitting on the siding near our door. It was very still, probably frightened by my proximity. It was bright red with the signature black flecks. It was shiny and perfect.

The following day, I left the apartment again, and noticed it again. It looked like it was in the same spot – maybe just close to the same. Bright red, shiny and perfect.

Shortly thereafter, I realized that it was always there. It never moved, and it had never moved since I had seen it. Today, its body is a dull brown, and its clear wings have dried out and separated from the body slightly.

Since the ladybug is perfectly intact, it does make me wonder how it died. Did it just go into cardiac arrest, climbing the wall of an apartment building? Did it just get old?

And something about the perfect and beautiful little bug, dying quietly, and slowly fading and deteriorating over time, reminded me of an idea that burns bright, but then flickers and fades as the original excitement dies. A hope unreached. A desire unfulfilled. A dream unrealized. Fruit, dying on the vine. I might call this whole concept “The Ladybug Effect.” Sounds fitting.

Perhaps these sad and dark thoughts have no place on a bright summer day. But today has been a bit of a quiet, introspective day for me.


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