What the praying mantis told me…I just need to listen!

After hearing me repeatedly mention my frequent hawk sightings, my friend Diane offered me her copy of Animal Speak, a book providing interpretations of animal signs and the language of their behaviors in the physical world.  I was interested and gratefully borrowed the book…more than a week passed before I had the chance to really look at it!


Our weekend bed and breakfast was once again open for business.  My friend Pam came into town from her home in the Phoenix area and joined my already active household.  Sophia and Karina, along with Mom and Dad, were also “home” for most of the weekend, energizing the old place. Pam’s a football enthusiast, so she and Jay had that in common, and my concentric circles of responsibility split my attention. To use a sports idiom, I completed my interpretation of a hat-trick: I was visiting with my friend Pam, addressing the needs of the girls (which always includes carefully following their conversations), and I was also attempting to cook dinner.

I purchased a wonderful stalk of Brussels sprouts and brought this green object lesson home for an on-site vegetable lesson plan.

So along with football, conversation and supervising young children I also diced and chopped onions, potatoes, carrots, turnips, and added the sprouts, throwing them into a large roasting pan with some olive oil—and we savored the aroma for about an hour before I turned the oven off.

Sunday morning

It’s always a little bittersweet fixing breakfast and knowing that once completed the guests are going home. While cooking eggs and toasting bagels, something suddenly triggered memory and I rapidly moved to the oven, opened the door, and pulled out a stone cold roasting pan full of shriveled, dry and unsalvageable root vegetables.  All the ceremony of the Brussels sprouts, and they never made it to the table!

So much for perfecting my hat-trick! I was moving through all the paces, but I was obviously not fully tuned in! After the house was finally quiet I sat down with a cup of tea and began to download some of the pictures from the camera. I looked at the photos of the praying mantis I’d found and then released with the girls, and then thought about another mantis I’d discovered in September. That little guy had surprised me by attaching to my shirt, traveling attached to me from home and to a grocery store, and then making himself known to me as I sat in a friend’s backyard.

Can you see the little green fellow sitting on my shoulder?

I thought of the Animal Speak book. Before I turned to hawks, I wondered about my praying mantis encounters. Were they talking to me? To my surprise,  the keynote associated with my little friend the praying mantis– The Power of Stillness! Now isn’t that interesting?

Chinese mythology brings the praying mantis into martial arts—Kung Fu is based on many aspects of nature, and one form of it is the praying mantis form.  To the African Kalahari Bushmen Mantis adventures run similarly to the coyote tales of plains Indians and raven tales of the Northwest. When Mantis gets into trouble, he hides, then sleeps and dreams the solution.

The lore surrounding the praying mantis teaches the need to still the outer, to cultivate a quiet that appears effortless and then when it IS time to act, clarity of purpose will be there!  Hmmmm. Maybe I needed to have this focus when operating an oven! Is a little green insect speaking to me?

And how about the keynote of the hawk? Hawks represent Visionary Power and Guardianship.

I may need a vacation.


11 thoughts on “What the praying mantis told me…I just need to listen!

  1. I think you need a vacation!! Not a working one, a REAL vacation!! My mouth was so disappointed in myself over those vegetables! While washing dishes I saw the stone on the counter and a little voice told me to put it in the oven, if I had I would have found them!!! So much for listening to the still small voice! I so thoroughly enjoyed playing with the girls, watching football with Jay, talking with you! I am homesick!!!!!

  2. Wonderful post!

    How awful for you to find the vegetables, Debra, but, what a deliciously wonderful “project” for Sophia and Karina. I will have to remember that. The color and texture of Brussels sprouts would be fun for children, and may even have the added bonus of encouraging them to like this veggie.

    Roasted vegetables are the best, aren’t they? I sometimes wonder why it took so long for many of us to discover this way to cook them.

    1. It’s funny, Penny, but the girls insist they like Brussels sprouts because they know how much I do! Then the joke is when I offer them a serving, they very politely say, “no thank you” and I don’t think they’ve even brought one to their lips! But I agree, over time delighting in the way things are grown and then prepared MAY have a positive influence. And oh my yes to roasting! I keep telling my friends who say they don’t like veggies that if they were raised with boiled, as most of us were, they need to think again!

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. That little praying mantis does have me thinking about my activity level. I love the idea of the vacation including all meals served in my room! Great idea…I need to get out of my own way, don’t I? 🙂

    1. I’m glad you could perhaps laugh with me a bit, Kate. I’m my own worst obstacle…that much I must own! I may need to think more about how to moderate too much of a good thing! At least I have fun until I crash! 🙂 D

  3. Pingback: Los Animales « The Aniweda Dream

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