praying * mantis

Livng things I saw on my prayer walk this Sunday morning…

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Five-petaled star jasmine – blooming cream, blooming white moonlight out of the corner of my eye – near the mailboxes, and one shrub already in full fruit. 

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Jasmine fruit starts out green & hard like a tiny apple, then ripens to into a soft plushy fuchsia-colored plum.

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Perched on a jasmine blossom, a green praying mantis curled its abdomen up, up, up like a leaf fragment.  Enormous eyes and legs like two hack-saws.  What a funny insect you are, I thought… and fierce… perching still as hewn jade, its face turned into the distance. 

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You look like a staid green violinist, I thought.  Who stole your music?  Now you have two fiddle strings for antennae moving quietly in the silence, lifting traces of jasmine perfume… or not.

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Out by the mailboxes, someone left books for others to take.  I took a cloth-bound copy of Angela’s Ashes, dust jacket missing, but overall in good shapeWhen everyone was talking about this memoir a decade ago, I didn’t read it.  I don’t why.  What was I reading then? 

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I was still living in New England, no idea what I wished to do except write.  No idea I’d spend the next decade teaching & writing in California, hearing curious statements like: Your velvet hat looks very East Coast. 

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This afternoon, I will read Angela’s Ashes after church. 

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Thank goodness for peace of mind to open a book & read.

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Prayer:  Blessings for the person who placed books out by the mailboxes to share with others. 

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