When I was walking the girl to school, we notice little sparkly things in the grass.

When we looked closer, they were empty shells that very young grasshoppers had left behind. They were perfect replicas of their donors, but looked like they were sculpted out of rice paper or soap bubbles, noticeably hollow and actually beautiful in their own odd nature-show way.

On the way home, I reflected on the change of season; the later sunrises and earlier sunsets, the growing chill in the morning, the dwindling wildflowers next to the path – more like wistful craft store potpourri these days than a peppy Trader Joe’s bouquet.

But specifically the little grasshoppers; this might be the last crop (batch? brood?) of the season, and they’re growing as quickly as they can to leave one last batch of eggs behind to keep the family line going.

(I had a camera with me and looked for even one example on the way back to make an image of, but either the wind had blown them away or some trick of the light kept them hidden once I had the sun to my back. Another ephemeral morning walk vision, maybe just for me and my daughter.)

Anyway, the little sparkly shells the grasshoppers had left behind made me wonder about humans and about myself; shedding one’s skin to make way for the new shape of your evolving body seems extreme but it’s necessary for at least some insects as they grow. Maybe people need to do something like this as well, spiritually or emotionally, from time to time – rather than just incremental evolution, every once in a while our old mental shape is so changed that it might not fit us any more, and we need to completely shed the container and leave it in the grass and start getting used to what it feels like living in the new one.

Then I thought, naw, if I passed out one day and then woke up in the grass next to a rice-paper effigy of myself, especially one with emotional baggage, I would scream like a goat. You stay right where you are, rice paper effigy of me.