Everywhere I look these days are painted wings, brushed red and gold, and spotted white. In the air or pulsing at rest, a flock, a herd, a pod….no, surely, a swarm: of butterflies, that is.
A mild winter and a sudden burst of March warmth has escalated the insect population. While not so good for prospects of more aphids and ants, there is a plethora of butterflies. Wait in the garden, and there will be a half dozen in a moment. At the rear of the house, a new stand of foxgloves is fulfilling its promise to attract them. Even in downtown Chicago, resting on the sun-warmed stone face of a bank building, clearly paying no heed to the one percent or the ninety nine, rested three Red Admirals in their military dress of black wings with red accents worn like battle ribbons.
Butterflies strike me as magical, the perfect combination of flutter and color, like spotting something you thought you had imagined: a fairy among the clover, the wish of a heart’s desire taking flight. Even their homely moth cousins, with their thick fuzzy antennae and dull wings, will get an appreciative glance now and again.
Cracking the spine on a new book, “Signs & Symbols,” I relearn what now seems familiar from previous readings: that the butterfly’s cycle speaks to us of resurrection and renewal. From caterpillar to chrysalis, and then emerging from its interim tomb to float free in beauty, a butterfly makes us yearn for the transformation dormant in all of us.
And should one land on your shoulder -- ah, bliss and blessing -- a delicate kiss from nature’s beauty to let you know how beloved and adored you are, to be mistaken for the sweetest flower.
FaithHopeandFiction is my creative home and my labor of love. I have written stories all my life. As a child, I told myself stories for entertainment, to pass the time, and for comfort. Stories were my way of interpreting and understanding the world around me and to discover the deeper meaning and lessons hidden in even the most ordinary circumstances and relationships.
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