Lady bugs are flitting against my concrete ceiling right now, and I can't help but wonder why they are in my room. Are they seeking shelter for the coldness of the winter ahead? Are they sneaking and squeezing through the cracks between my screen and window sill because they see the warm yellow glow from my light fixture and can't help but believe where there is light there is heat? These lady bugs are of a most unusual shade of red, a rusty, burnt orangey-red, actually. They blend well into the fall landscape of changing leaves and browning grass I see so readily outside my window. Slowly they are crawling, exploring the crevices and chips in the white surfaces surrounding them.
Are they seeking a small hole in which to crawl and cuddle and cozy up for the cold weather? Are they looking for each other? Are they seeking to settle at all? Will they ever be satisfied, and will they rest even though they travel along the cold concrete vastness of my white ceiling and walls?
As I watch one beetle run into a friend and pause, I see him coerce his friend into moving out of the way, as not to interfere with whatever mission this beetle is on. The beetle continues walking fairly steadily and rapidly, while his friend stays still in one spot on the wall.
One bug has been beside me all day, not moving from the ceramic candy dish my sister made for me a few Christmases ago. Stubborn or scared, I wonder? I push him a little and he starts moving, searching for another safe place to lie. The edges and lumps he explore are limited, and he never leaves the safety of the cold white-colored underbelly of the ceramic lid turned upside down. Lady bugs can walk sideways and upside down, giving them the ability to explore in dimensions that humans cannot, but still what they explore are the things I can see, the things that are exposed and white-washed, sterile, safe and known.