|A Dark Flower Beetle, Euphoria sepulcralis, feeding on Swamp Milkweed, August 29, 2015|
in Cattail Wetland at
Bird Runner Wildlife Refuge
Margy Stewart photo
Scarab beetles are rich in lore.
The sacred beetle of the Egyptians was a scarab, as was, supposedly, the fictional "Gold Bug" of Poe's short story.
My little gem is named "Dark Flower Beetle," or Euphoria sepulcralis. Look at the linking of opposites in those names--"dark" & "flower," "euphoria" & "sepulchral"!
Natural selection has made flowers bright to attract pollinators; they are not "dark." And what is euphoric about a sepulchre, or a tomb?
But the fusion of opposites is the stuff of myth, to say nothing of life itself. Mystical experience--the apprehension of ultimate reality--is characterized by paradox: life and death, here and there, lost and saved. It's never either-or.
The sacred Egyptian scarab was a dung beetle, while in more cultures than not, the carrion-eating vulture appears as angelic or divine. Poe's Gold Bug was linked to both a skull--a death's head--and a fabulous treasure.
|The scarab beetle Euphoria sepulcralis|
feeding on the flowers of Swamp Milkweed,
Asclepias incarnata., August 29, 2015.
Margy Stewart photo.
Somewhere at the paradoxical heart of life, "waste" is transformed into treasure, and the defunct do shape-change into life. The lowest become highest and the last become first--a deep reality about which I, for one, am wildly joyful!
My mythogenetic beetle, feeding on pollen, is nowhere else but at the heart of life.