Posted by: Cat of Sunshine and Siestas | February 7, 2008

The Lesson of the Grasshopper

When I was younger, I always looked forward to going to summer camp at Camp Lone Oak. I loved creek study and tye dye and singing “Moonshadow” every day after lunch. I looked up to my counselors, who were 16 and could drive and were hippies who loved the outdoors. There was one man in particular, his name was Mike, who I adored. Nevermind that my mom, upon meeting him on parent’s night, thought he was the most handsome, rugged, sun tanned man to ever roam the forest. I learned, as a 12 year old kid with nothing to worry about, one of the most important lessons I ever could know from this handsome, rugged, outdoorsman.

Ten years ago, I suppose by now, I went to CLO for the summer with all of my closest friends. I don’t know how we started talking about these things, but he told me this story: Sometime in the year before, he got a phone call from a relative telling him to come to Pennsylvania as quickly as possible because his mother was very ill. She had been diagnosed with Stage III cancer and had little hope of survival. Mike spent the whole train ride completely distraught, as he was a young man and unsure of how he might handle such a monumental fight. Being from Rockford, Ill., a town of 300,000, a town as big as Pittsburgh was even me daunting. Mike said he went straight to the hospital, where his family was receiving bad news from the doctors. Knowing that his mother was most liekly going to die, Mike went out into an unknown city for a walk. He recalled feeling dwarfed in a city of skyscrapers and cement, unsure of where he was going or what he should do. Above all, he was overwhelmed by the circumstances he was in. He sat down on a bench, putting his head in his hands. Noise from traffic and constreuction swirled all around him without ceasing until it became a buzz. Not a buzz from all the things around him – just one single thing. It was a grasshopper, buzzing loud enough for him to hear in a busy, bustling city. Mike said it reminded him of the things that made him happy, and he always remembered to look for a grasshopper in every situation.

This week, I pretty much had an ataque de nervios. On Tuesday morning, I found out I left a lesson I’d literally spent hours preparing at home. I started crying. Later that night, Kike made a comment that normally wouldn’t bother me, and I couldn’t stop crying until 2am. I was upset about being tired and stressed out all the time. When I went into We Love Spain yesterday and my boss asked me how I was, I immediately burst into tears, and he said, I think you need to take time for yourself. Calm down, take it wasy, do what’s best for you. So I have an extra like 2 days, essentially, considering I spend a lot of time doing work. I’ll miss working there, but I was like Mike – overwhelmed, not thinking about what was best for me to be doing to take care of my mental health. I immediately felt relieved yesterday, like I had so many less stressors in my life. I knew I needed to leave, but I couldn’t.

Today, as I was walking home from the grocery store on a gorgeous, cloudless day, I took a different way home as a shortcut. Something caught my eye. I kid you not, it was a gigantic grasshopper. Always looking for the grasshopper.



  1. loved the post cat.

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