Seeing the Light
A Serendipitous Moth
Luna Moths. A tragic insect with such a short lifespan, humbled by its beauty and gentle nature. Born without mouths, these moths exist to reproduce and nothing more. Of course, if you were only given 7 to 10 days in your adult life, how would you spend it? While these moths are not rare, many feel graced by their presence due to their short lifespan - the probability of seeing one is, indeed, seemingly rare.
And for those who have, they’re absolutely unforgettable.
With a striking coloration of translucent greens framed by a popping magenta; their overall pattern compared to other moths are simple and minimal. And with what small decoration their wings do have, you can’t help but notice how the two spots these moths sport on their flowing bottom wings appear as eyes - a sleepy stare revealing an all-knowing nature - eyes that seem as if they’ve seen millennia all within those short 7 days.
It’s no wonder people find mysticism in these wonderful creatures.
And yet, I’ve never seen a Luna Moth before. Truth be told, I’ve never heard about them either. Yes, I’ve probably seen Pinterest posts of them at some point, precariously placed in a collage of mystical and wondrously aesthetically pleasing items. But, for the first 23 years of my life, I couldn’t tell you what it was if I saw one.
Until I did.
2020 was quite a year for everyone. I absolutely cannot say that my experience was singular and unique, but it was definitely a first for me. Like many other people probably experienced, I found myself unemployed just three months into 2020. However, it was only after three months into this job as well at the age of - would you guess - 23 years old and a year after graduating college. I was, could you say, very much a newbie in this “cruel adult world”. And yet, it was a first for everyone when it came to dealing with a global pandemic - so I wasn’t entirely alone in feeling so isolated, confused, and overall lost about the future.
Fortunately, in my situation, I was not laid off or without a job completely. The company I worked for relied solely on the customers and the equipment in the offices to bring in the money. And with all the customers working from home, pausing a lot of their own projects, or just flat out closing; the company only really had one option. Furlough. Everyone in the company during March of 2020 was furloughed, a situation where we weren’t laid off but could still take advantage of the unemployment benefits until the company was to call us back.
At first, it was great. Got to catch up on sleep, got to relax, got to indulge in, and invest in new hobbies. And, as an introvert, not having to spend any time commuting or interacting with people was almost a dream come true. It was almost too good to be true.
Until May rolled around, June, and July. And the promise of this pandemic just being a quick and painless venture was slowly becoming more real and scary. And as someone with a chronic respiratory disease, staying indoors seemed like it was a matter of life or death.
It first started out as a promise, a very loose promise at that, but one nonetheless. Rumors spread around the company that we’d be called back into the office in May. That rumor only half true as about one or two people were called back to manage each office branch - just enough apparently. That promise was extended to June, the assurance that more people would be called back into the office and allowed to come off unemployment. And as that claim extended to July then to October? It was becoming very clear that the company could not financially handle it yet, and neither could I anymore.
This was my first “big girl” job, my first real job out after college and into the working world. And when I was furloughed, I had only been there for three months. So, the paycheck wasn’t anything grand, but it was enough to pay rent, bills, and groceries. My unemployment check, however, was nothing to write home about. Barely even half of my actual paycheck, unemployment really only came through for rent, but I had to save two of those per month to make it. And as someone who lived at home and commuted all throughout college, I never got any of the stimulus checks myself. So, with a dwindling savings account that wasn’t anything special, to begin with, I really only had one other option. Start job hunting.
Of course, you can imagine that going well eight months into a global pandemic.
I believe, looking back on it now, I had to have applied to at least a hundred different places - interviewing at around 30 - 40. Either within my career or something completely random just hoping it would make me enough money. I am all about that stability after all.
And around August 2020, things actually started to look up. A job came through, and I interviewed and was offered the job. It was perfect. A remote position as a Graphic Designer with amazing pay and benefits. There was little hesitation to submit my notice to my then-current company that I was leaving, everyone was happy for me. I was happy for me.
I had to look back in my photo album for a bit, but I can tell you the exact time stamp. August 2nd, 2020 at 1 pm - it was a Sunday. During the pandemic, I had visited my parents a lot. They were about two hours away from me and always welcomed me home during the weekends. It was a chance to be around other people outside of those intense periods of isolation. That, and my mom helped me quite often with paying for groceries as my savings dwindled. However, this weekend was when I announced to my family that I had received a job offer and took it. That I was no longer going to be unemployed and would finally have a steady paycheck again. They were indeed happy for me, but apprehensive. Parental instincts are quite spot on when it comes to things that seem just a little too good to be true.
That afternoon on Sunday the 2nd, I saw something out on the back deck of my parent’s house and was baffled as to what it was. Luckily, it was a nice day so there was no hesitation to slide open the back door and flip immediately to my phone’s camera to capture something I’d never seen before.
Later Googling what this magnificent creature was, to my delight, finding it was a Luna Moth.
And as someone who does tend to be curious about the hidden meaning in things, I took no time in researching further about the symbolism behind Luna Moths.
“Luna moths signify new beginnings as they represent a continuing quest for truth and knowledge, the gift of intuition, psychic perception, and heightened awareness. Things that are associated with “seeing the light”."
At that point, I could only feel the infectious smile pull at my lips. Months of uncertainty finally came to fruition and my life turned around for the better. A new beginning, a new job, stability, all of that represented by this delicate-looking creature that made an appearance in a space I feel the most familiar and safe.
And it all felt right.
It only took a week later.
Literally a week later for my card to decline while I was ordering food to deliver. Literally a week later for me to check my bank account to find both my savings and checking empty - in the negatives. Thousands of dollars in the negatives. Confusion, immense panic. A week later for me to call my bank and for them to explain that what I had been involved in was a job scam. The red flags were certainly there, but myself ignorant enough to not have seen them. Two weeks later for me to finally set everything right with my bank, to get that money back, to call the police to help me investigate this job scam, and for me to - by the end of the second week - be unemployed, again. But, this time, with nothing. No unemployment check, no promise of being called back into work, absolutely nothing.
Was that Luna Moth a promise of new beginnings, or a warning?
November of 2020 was when I interviewed for the job I have now. And I felt horrible for telling them this, but they had originally told me they were going to interview people for another week then get back to me on if I got the job or not. I asked them if they could tell me sooner. I didn’t have that next week. Without a paycheck, I couldn’t pay for rent anymore. And while giving my 60 days notice to my landlord, I had until the next Tuesday after the interview to tell them if I got the job or not to stay.
That next Tuesday, I got the call, and I got the job.
Looking back on it now, it’s all a jumble of memories. 2021 wasn’t any kinder with a flood taking my new car. But, the sequence of events to lead me to where I am right now - as I write this - is nothing short of serendipitous.
I still believe in finding the hidden meaning in things. The, dare I say, spiritual meaning in things - especially in nature. Nature is probably the most raw and organic (of course) experience on this planet. Nature has a balance to it that has lasted millions of years, far before the existence of humans. And with it comes lore that humans have given it in our earliest days. Moths are said to be commonly associated with a few themes: change, transformation, endings, death, and even the mystery of the night. And with the Luna Moth, I was so focused on the one phrase, “new beginnings”. When, in fact, it was never about new beginnings at all.
“Seeing the light”
The moment, in itself, was nothing significant. I saw the moth, I ran outside and took a photo, ogled at how pretty it was for a second, then googled it to find out what it was. The moth itself was also something nothing like the images Google provided. The moth I had seen had tears in its wings, its depicted vibrant green resembled more of a soft muted mint. And it must have been tired, resting along that post of the deck for a while before disappearing completely. The only other time I encountered a Luna Moth was when I was leaving work for the day and saw a juvenile resting along the sidewalk outside the back entrance to the building. Not wanting anyone to step on it, and apprehensive about the swirling rain clouds above, I moved it off into the grass in hopes it wouldn’t get too wet in the oncoming rain.
Since then, when I look back at that moment now, it holds a lot more significance than what I had given it in the moment and the week after. It was never about waiting for the new beginning, it was about staying persistent, never giving up, and keeping that light at the end of the tunnel in sight.
I never just gave up after that job scam incident. I gave myself a couple of days to recuperate mentally but was quick to jump back in and keep applying for jobs. I didn’t want to lose my first apartment, I didn’t want this job scam to get the best of me, unmotivate me and leave me in the mud. I wanted that job, that stability, that paycheck, that apartment, that feeling of success - even if it was little. I kept up with it, stayed up until three, sometimes four in the morning applying to jobs. I had more interviews, traveling minutes and miles for some with no sure promise of anything - but knowing that just one had to stick.
I kept searching for that light for as long as I could manage. Even as I started packing boxes, knowing deep down I was going to have to move, that I was going to lose - I never stopped.
And when I got that call for a job I knew was legitimate, I felt a happiness I hadn’t experienced in a while.
Now? In April of 2023, I have a new apartment in a new town, still with the job that saved my ass in 2020 - but searching now for the next step in my career. A new growth opportunity. And I do still think back to that tattered and dull Luna Moth on the rotting post of my parent’s deck. Still think about how no matter how dark life becomes, no matter how unsure and apprehensive situations become, that little moth is a reminder to stay on the quest for truth, knowledge, and light.
About the Creator
Young, living - thriving? Writing every emotion, idea, or dream that intrigues me enough to put into a long string of words for others to absorb - in the hopes that someone relates, understands, and appreciates.
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Oh gosh, that Luna Moth is just soooo beautiful! I'm so sorry that you were furloughed and involved in a job scam. But I'm so glad you never stopped looking for the light! Congratulations on placing as a Runner-Up! I've subscribed!
Good morning, fellow runner-up 😎 How does it feel? This is a rollercoaster of a piece! I was so elated with you when you got that job, and then shocked and devastated at being so deep in the red. It's a testament to your tenacity that you turned it around. Well done ❤
Such an awesome story, Nicole! Luna Moths are amazing! So cool that one presented itself to you (well, two) I love that you saw the beauty and meaning behind that little gift from the Universe. Congrats on placing in the challenge!
This was a really interesting story, I'm glad things worked out for you!! And congrats on placing in the challenge!
Congrats on your win. I had a similar experience when I was going through my divorce. I’d never seen or heard of Luna moths, then suddenly… they were everywhere. My dad posted one on his social media that he’d photographed in his yard, asking what it was… and my son got a new picture book (Bug Zoo) with one in it, and I saw one painted on a greeting card, all within 24 hours. Like you, I had things get worse before they got better. But that’s often the nature of transitions.
This was beautiful, and very inspirational. In tarot this is what we'd call a Tower moment - where everything comes crashing and burning down around you so that you can rebuild something better. I think you're right in that the Luna moth heralded good things - it's just not always what we expect at first.
A very inspirational story. Congratulations on Top Story!
Cool coincidence that we both wrote about moths :) and on a similar theme too. Love your story.