A thumb-sized, ebony beetle lays on his back, kicking. His hind legs are long bent pins without a cushion. Click. Click.

The sidewalk is wet from a rain in the night. I don't know where this beetle came from or where he plans on going. Does he have ambitions to be something more than he is? Is he satisfied with his life? Does he worry? Does he dream? Does he love himself? As I look at this humble being, near my foot, these questions seem to have simple answers; yet, I cannot guarantee that they would be so.

It's odd to me that he has such a heavy shell; so heavy that when a little wind, or a little toddler, pushes him over, he cannot return to a balanced state for himself. He is encumbered by his protection. He is made handsome by his armament.

I imagine that this beetle sees the world in different colors than I do. I know he hears the world in a completely different way that me. I wonder if I could see the world the way that he does. What would it change about me? I imagine his palette. The houses blur. The sunlight becomes more apparent. Greens call out with their shady safeness.

This beetle is so very important to the life of the temperate rain forest here. The forest: where is it? From both of our vantage points, it doesn't seem like we're even in that forest. The thick loam has been paved over and killed here. Where is the closest evergreen tree? I see one, a few blocks up the way, behind somebody's concrete fence. It's still here, I reassure myself. I reassure the beetle.

I grab a small branch and flip him over. Thank you for your lesson today. I whisper to him as he clicks away.

A show of gratitude, I note of myself. Thank you for your gratitude today. I whisper to myself as I continue on my walk. Nothing is a coincidence. It all happens for a reason. Be mindful.

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