Mexican Jumping Beans


I remember

standing in a checkout line, and there they were

Alive inside small clear packages,

waiting to be released into my warm hands

If reverence is a thing learned,

then I must thank my parents-

For instilling that careful curiosity

fused with great love and respect for life that is within

even the tiniest of things

I remember that for days, they were my world

I watched as the wild jumps slowly began to fade,

as if the life slipped away from a thing encapsulated-

I knew they had wanted to catapult outward, into the world

In some ways, that life is ours

And our shells can be so hard that we rail against ourselves

until we wear out

We forget to revere our own miracle of existence

and so, in sickness, even a jumping bean does not draw out our admiration and respect-

they lie dormant

But the secret is that the life within the bean

is able to persist for months and emerge

from its quiet metamorphosis into a winged creature,

breaking free from its hard cage of safety

And finally, flying away into the sky