I have been intoxicated all summer by wonder-winged butterflies. They bring me so much happiness.
What grabs me first is how gorgeous their stained-glass wings are. And I am simply charmed by their swerving and curving in flight. I stand in awe of them.
What do I gain from noticing them? Perhaps a bit of solace, a bit of beauty as they float and flutter by in my hurried life. They are real. Through them I can see grace.
Their perfectly patterned wings flutter by as they dance drunkenly in a gentle breeze which seems to use them as playpretties. Still, they ballerina. Such ease.
Butterflies only live a short life span, but their lives are as full as they can be. To us, they seem to have no worries. No strife. No cares. And what joys they share. If I reach toward one, it ducks, dodges, evades. They want to be free.
They captured me this summer.
We have people coming for Labor Day Weekend, so yesterday I walked to the guest cottage to clean. There, I found ten or more dead butterflies on the screened-in porch. Ohhhhh, no. I was upended, undone. Not one was flitting. We’d left the screen door unlatched and the wind had blown the door open. They were captured on the porch and not able to find their way out. (I suddenly think of Houston, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, all those places with floodwaters. No way out.)
I have imagined our little place to be a sanctuary for butterflies. Every day is a butterfly day here. Never did it occur to me that we needed to check screen doors to protect butterflies. Never had the thought.
I comfort myself tonight with the thought that butterflies might even have no time concept and no fear of change. They show us transformation, as a simple caterpillar sheds its homemade coat and becomes a beautiful butterfly. They carry no burdens. They can soar. (A few people in Texas and Louisiana will be able to adjust quickly, but most will need much help and time to get through their losses. It will be hard.)
We all have had our caterpillar days. Thankfully, God gave us a way to purge ourselves of those days which we want gone in our hearts and heads. God sent His son to die for us, so we can have the Holy Spirit in us, with us, around us. The Holy Spirit is called the Helper. We humans need a helper to shed the ugly coat of sin and reach for more life than we have ever had. We have a way out.
Maybe the secret is to have the courage to just let go of how it once was.
Easy to say, hard to do. We all stumble with this. No words, no real answers. (Those people in flooded areas must now grope for a way to live through this bad surprise in their lives. They can do it, but there will be groping with great sadness, a letting-go period.)
I sweep a porch, place dead butterflies in and around blooming flowers, thank them for being with me all summer, and I pray for those people struggling in Texas and Louisiana.
Maybe the butterfly is here to hover over us and enlighten our lives, to show us how to move on, to go forward, to let go, to live fully.
How fragile the butterfly. The same is true of our lives, which can silently flutter by if we are not paying attention.
Let us loose our love and make the best of each upcoming day, and if a butterfly comes your way, try to see it and let that moment of bliss bless you.
P.S. – This blog is meant to bless you. You may bless others with it. Permission granted.
Photo by Pat Durmon of a black butterfly inside a screened-in porch near Norfork, Arkansas, August 31, 2017.