Symbol of good luck, the ladybug is said to give blessings to those she encounters. Master in the art of metamorphosis, she transforms from a hideous larva to a beautiful insect adorned with bright colors.
After 10 long hours in The Beast the day before, we had finally landed in the town of Elon and on the campus of Elon University.
We were greeted with temperature checks, hand sanitizer and mild southern accents. Masked, energetic Orientation Leaders helped in the unpacking of The Beast and guided us to Grace’s new home.
While Morgan, our Orientation Leader, waited for the elevator, Hannah, Grace and I made our way up the stairs to the third floor. Grace led the way, I was in the rear, Hannah was sandwiched in the middle. I watched as she skipped up the stairs, springs in her feet, “I get to be the little sister! Gracie, I’m so excited for you!” Her zest and sheer delight for her sister filled the stairwell.
Before we knew it, we were standing in the room, surrounded by the bins and baskets Grace had meticulously packed. With much deliberation and contemplation, we moved the beds, dressers, desks and refrigerator. Yes, we moved everything. Lowering Grace’s bed, maintaining the lofted look for Sofia, her new roommate, we created an L shaped set up. “This looks better – so much roomier.” Grace stepped back and said. “And if Sofia doesn’t like it, we can just change it.”
With the beds in place, Hannah and I set to making Grace’s. We pulled and tucked and tucked and pulled. I stepped back to let Hannah tighten up a corner of the mattress pad when a bug caught my eye. I let my eyes linger on it and I realized it was a ladybug. I pulled my phone from the the chaotic mess on the desk, leaned in close and took a pic. I stepped back feeling satisfied, calm.
Two years earlier, the same feeling came over me when, on a raw early spring day, a ladybug appeared on the back of the pew in front of me. We were at The University of Vermont for my oldest, Hannah.
The rest of the afternoon was spent setting up, organizing and exploring. We met new, masked, people, we heard their stories, and soaked up the excitement of the day. Then, it was time for the dreaded goodbyes. We each hugged our Gracie. Some hugs were quiet, some were silly and giddy, all were laced with wet eyes.
Driving away from Elon, I bit my lip, holding back the ugly cry and embraced the satisfied, calm feeling that little bug gifted me knowing Grace is where she belongs.
This totem animal is a powerful ally to make important changes in your life and go through your life’s journey with ease. Let’s discover its encouraging message: Believe in yourself and dare!