Dec. 31: Diapause

noun: a hormonally controlled quiescence resulting in a reduction of metabolic activity, often occurring seasonally, especially in insects

I’ve just learned that
as the cold descends,
you, little red-suited beetles,
cuddle tight to each
other like cubs in a den
napping, your metabolism
slowed to the consistency
of honey, your appetite
for aphids momentarily
on hold.

I had no idea you could
survive a winter, but
here you are umbrella’d
under a broad leaf with
your black polka-dotted
buddies in what I now
realize is ladybug
hibernation—
not a bad idea for us all—

a time of quiescence
for living things,
tucking into stillness,
relishing dormancy,
until the awakening signal
plucks at us, persuades us
to stretch our tiny wings
and take flight into
a whole new year.

Ladybugs in diapause (Photo / Dean Stables, 2005)

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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4 Responses to Dec. 31: Diapause

  1. shaunasmith says:

    Hi Jan,I love the phrase “tucking into stillness.”  I’m reesending my lullaby in separate email in case you didn’t get it. Please let me know if the mp4 – at the bottom – opens for you.And please share it too…!Thank you.Warmly,Shauna Shauna L. Smith, MSW, LMFT3101- I Street Suite #104Sacramento, CA 95816

  2. Janet Johnston says:

    What a tidy little lady bug of a poem! Love the new word and the adorable photo, too! Love, Jan

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