Sometimes pain gives way to birthing something totally unexpected. I had just come home visiting family and felt very rejected by them. I cried out to God and asked Him why. Why was I made to feel this pain? And in so many times in my life I had felt this pain. And so many times in my life, after feeling this pain, there was birthed something wonderful. As I sat down at my table in my home I prayed and asked God for His mercy on my life, it came to me to think of the time when I was a young girl, four years of age.
On Fridays in the summertime, my grandfather would pick me up in the morning and walk with me from where we lived on the Lower East Side of Manhatten on 6th Street to 1st Ave where the pushcarts were to buy fish for Friday. My mother would dress me up in a pinafore dress and my hair in ponytails with ribbons that looked like propellers on a plane, and fancy socks and shoes. My grandfather, who was quite tall, would take me out for the morning walk and go to this 1st Avenue pushcart where the man was selling fresh fish and the buckets and the baskets were out in the street. My grandfather would take these long strides, forgetting that I had little legs, and I had to skip to keep up. The Fishman knew my grandfather and he would tell me, “Pick a snail,” and my grandfather would say “Yes, it’s okay, pick a snail and that snail will be your pet.” And I enjoyed looking for a certain type of snail, much larger than the ones that were in the basket, that I could take home and enjoy looking at it. The Fishman would put it in a little brown paper bag and close it up for me, and my grandfather would purchase our Friday meal, and then we would go home. My mother prepared a goldfish bowl with an old mayonnaise cap filled with water and some lettuce in the bottom of the bowl.
I thought about that. I thought about the snail in the goldfish bowl, with the little antennas that stuck out from its head, and I touched them gently, and they retracted. I thought about that and wondered why I was being made to think of this. It brought me joy, remembering my “date” every Friday.
And my brother Kenny would let my new snail go every week and the snail would climb down the side of the building. I would become extremely upset and he thought it was funny. And my grandfather who stopped by every day to help my mother would say, “Don’t worry. We have Friday. We will go and get another snail.”

And I thought about this and it came to my mind to write about this snail. That snail was so smart, and God put it on my mind to write about this very smart snail who would be so helpful to a ladybug that had so many children that she couldn’t control them. She didn’t know how to make them behave. The story emerged. I named the snail after Solomon of the Bible, who was so smart that he asked for wisdom and he was so wise that he knew God, that Mighty Wondrous Voice of Love. It was Love that made me write this story, because I was that ladybug when I was a single mom who didn’t know how to make my children listen, and I heard God’s voice of Love telling me to pray. Prayer helped me to change my ways of thinking and helped me to help my children to get the God who loved them so much and loved me as well.
So the story was born. Solomon came to life, and the ladybug found that Voice that helped her to emerge anew and courageous.
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