Here I am, tumbling all the feelings I’ve had about my recent trip to California around in my mind. Turning things over and over, considering my place among it all. I look up, and here is this grasshopper, sitting on the roof of our doghouse, staring me down through the window.
I mean, his body is pointed EXACTLY at me and I can clearly see into his black bulging eyes. He has been staring at me for a healthy 10 minutes. He shifts his weight, bends from side to side, as if to stretch and then perfectly square himself up before an attempted jump. His antennae bounce. He jumps and hits the window with the force of a rock being kicked up by a semi into your windshield. The powerful blow bounces him directly out of my view.
Thirty seconds later, his tiny head appears, triumphant at his recovery. He makes me profoundly aware that there are creatures all over the earth-all over my yard!-that face great challenges every day. I am not just a single being among other humans. I am a being among other beings. The grasshopper’s struggle no less for him than mine is for me.
He carefully begins his ascent by placing his front left leg up, then follows with his right. His middle and back jumping legs follow suit. His front legs guide, middle legs act as the “muscle” and his hind hoppers for navigational turning. He calculatingly scales the glass. It’s a mighty sight to watch a grasshopper mountaineer a window.