When I was 7, I caught a grasshopper. I kept him in an old see through plastic medicine tin. I kept him in by placing a piece of paper over the lid, stabbed with holes for him to breathe.
I loved my grasshopper. He was the prettiest bug I had seen in real life. Brilliantly green, and the amazing ability to jump great distances. Definitely nothing creepy or crawly about this bug.
I placed him on the window sill in the day time, so he could see the sun and the trees outside, and kept him safely on my mother’s shelf at night.
I never wanted my grasshopper to leave, nor die. I thought I loved it, it belonged to me. MY grasshopper.
But grasshoppers belonged outside. Among the grass and flowers and leaves. Grasshoppers did not belong in plastic bottles – and they most certainly did not belong to little 7 year old girls.
“If you love him, you’d want him to be happy. Happy and free to hop among the grass and flowers and leaves. Do you want what you love to be happy?”
My 7 year old self was torn. Much of what was said made sense, but it was hard to accept. Why would one let go of something they loved?
But I set the grasshopper free. I lifted the paper lid and placed the tin on the grass, and as grasshoppers would, it hopped onto the nearest blade of grass, and onto the next, and the next.. happy amongst the grass the flowers and leaves. Free to be – as all grasshoppers should.
There is no ownership. Ones you love will leave you, whether by choice, circumstance or death. Love seeks better for the other, which is why love means letting go sometimes. Know this already, you will lose ones beloved, ones whom we’ve convinced ourselves we can’t live without. And as hard as it may be, as much as we wish not for it, know that its not all about loss and losing; accept that fact and there is much to be found – a greater understanding, an increased capacity to love wholly.