Do you remember poems from your childhood? ...Particularly the one that starts with the lines,
'Ladybird, ladybird, Fly away home, Your house is on fire And your children all gone'
That's about the only part I remember. With some help from the internet I recently discovered how the poem continues, along with some alternate versions from different countries and the like. You can check them out here at the ever so reliable wikipedia. Worth a quick read if you're curious!
The short version we are all familiar with paints quite a grim picture at first, doesn't it? A home of little ladybirds, aglow with burning flames - it triggers a couple of questions. Did the ladybirds manage to escape or did they succumb to the fire? Where where the ladybirds living? What is home for them? It's completely up to the reader to decide the answers.
Ladybird' recorded at Gramophone Studios Malta Video edited by Stephen Farrugia using footage from Videvo.com | Stop Motion Sequence - collaboration between Doranne and Alexandra Alden
But what is clear to me is that the ladybird is a nomad. He will fly wherever he pleases and will stay wherever he is welcomed with shelter and warmth. His only tie is his family...his nest. This is home.
I've also decided that in the poem, the ladybirds escaped and set up home somewhere new. For instance, I believe one of these locations was the gap in my window in the house I lived in last year. Every night I watched them emerge, like travelling specks of blood on my undecorated white walls. I was fascinated by them, so they were safe in my company.
When I moved to my new place a year later, I was sad to say bye to these little fellas. They added some life to the boring old apartment, but I was hoping that in the year ahead I wouldn't notice their absence in the new city. And I didn't, for a while, probably because I was hardly ever at home anyway. A few months into my new adventure, I fell quite ill and became bed-ridden for weeks. Life came to an abrupt stand-still and I hid under my blankets and quilts, blurring the days into a constant state of malaise.
Until one evening, as I lay on my bed watching netflix using the log in details of a friend of a friend of mine (can't wait til he finds out), I noticed the outline of a tiny creature walking along the top of my laptop screen. And another on the keyboard. And then a few more on my window. ...Could it be?
The ladybirds had returned. Or had they followed me all the way to Rotterdam this whole time while I was just too busy to realise? Either way, they brought a smile to my face. It's good to meet with old friends again.