Ladybugs, horse mane, and beach sand

By Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi 
Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing hundreds of lady bugs. Everywhere I look, in my garden, on my palomino’s golden mane, on my blouse, in my hair and even at Doran Beach ladybugs catch my fancy. Whenever I see them, I smile with joy and my heart relaxes, and the tensions of the world disappear. I fall into a fantasy world of warm light and the sweet scent of pink jasmine folding into me, showing me a peaceful world hidden right before me.
          The message of the lady bug presented herself daily during my 10 day class in Equine Guided Education. Nine women, who had traveled from near and far, came together to listen, to share, to support and to be supported. Old wounds tried to rear their ugly heads, but the ladybugs and a pair of Canadian geese kept interrupting the sadness with their positive display of peace and connection. The horses kept grounding us to the present moment.
          Our conversations and learning were deep, authentic, and courageous. Each woman letting go of the old stories that had entrapped them into feeling powerless, meanwhile we heard of a war waging on far off shores. We learned of a teenager who ended her life, while another teenager fought to keep her head above the raging waters of hopelessness. We--mothers, daughters and grandmothers--wept. We let the tears fall. We stopped apologizing for our tears.
  The ladybugs held space for us each day as we individually and collectively let go of the pain, the emotional exhaustion, and ungrounded fears. We agreed that it is hard to stay present with so much pain in the world right now. Yet in our hearts we knew we had to find a way to stand tall in such adversity. Together, we found our strength to walk forward into our lives with the practice of open listening, and neutral observing. We embraced our new ability to stay present in chaos, and to be of service to others in need.
The ladybugs reminded us that there are places in the world, in nature, where peace and harmony reside. We chose to take their energy of positivity and goodness with us back to our individual homelands with the intention of being a force of possibility to counteract the darkness we hear all too much about in these times.
Ladybug totem:
Ladybug symbolizes protection, healing, evolution, good fortune and grace.
Ladybug reminds you of your own unique gifts and way of perceiving and being in the world. She encourages you to invite healing, well being and good fortune into your life. She also reminds you to have grace and to not let others bring you down, but rather that you keep your vibration of hope and possibility alive and well.
           With her strong red outer shield, she easily protects herself, reminding you to protect yourself and your loved ones. This can include attention to personal boundaries, self-esteem and creative expression.
 Ladybugs hatch from eggs, go through a larval stage and molt four times as they outgrow their alligator like skin. Like a snake, she symbolizes through her own transformation the ability to shed your old skin and grow into your new skin.
Did you know that there are about 6,000 species of ladybugs worldwide and that most cultures honor the ladybug for her ability to eradicate other insect pests in the garden and on the farm. In the Spring, if numerous Ladybugs are seen flying around, many farmers say it forecasts bountiful crops.