"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." - Maya Angelou
Leaving for dance class last night, Emmie squealed with delight in her ballerina leotard when we opened the door to find a butterfly. "Oooooh, Mama!" clutching her hands to her chest, showing her femininity and enormous heart. Several things come to mind for me when I see a butterfly, and in true woman fashion, I think them all at once. Usually, the first thought is of my Nana. She was an
avid butterfly lover, and all the various butterfly patterned items she had flash before my eyes. How my son called them "flutterby" when he was younger. I think about how beautiful they are, and how each one looks a bit different. I sing Sheryl Crow's lyrics "Butterflies are free to fly, and so they fly away". And then I think about how as much as we want to, we can never quite get them to stay.
But, this one did. The butterfly stayed on Emmie's finger for a few glorious minutes. It would have stayed longer had we not needed to leave for dance and she carefully placed it on the azalea bush. It moved it's legs in such a way that looked as though it were dancing, and we both quietly watched with dumbfounded smiles plastered on our faces.
I live for moments like this. Time stood still, and while I did get a few photos with my phone, I took so many more mental snapshots. Everything was a little brighter and more vivid, almost moving in
slow motion. The world faded away and we were locked in that moment. I will never forget Emmie's giggle and how her blue eyes lit up in wonder. I hope I always remember how tiny her hands are. I observed the butterfly and all of the orange spots it had, remembering the Tinkerbell movie we just watched together where they painted the wings of the butterflies. Knowing full-well that the Artist who really painted them is so much better makes them even more magnificent.
Butterflies are such amazing creatures when you stop to think about them. We need to stop more often. To slow down and think about the simple wonders instead of being so desensitized. I couldn't make a butterfly, can you? Very few other animals change from something that isn't all that spectacular and has to crawl everywhere slowly leaving goo in it's wake, to a breathtakingly beautiful creature that can fly where it pleases. To something that makes people stop in their tracks to follow it's every move. They start out as a caterpillar that's main focus is to grow. It spends it's time searching for food until it has grown almost 100 times larger than when it emerged as an egg. It works to build itself into a cocoon before it materializes as the creature it has been preparing to be. But, if you know anything about butterflies, they don't get to enjoy it for long. Most of their lifespan is spent as a caterpillar growing, or working toward their goal. Some species of butterflies only get to be in their butterfly body for as little as 5-15 days! But, they work for it anyway. Isn't that just like life? We spend our whole lives changing and growing, reaching for who we should be. What goals would I work toward if I knew I could only be there for a short time to enjoy it? What do I want badly enough? Are my goals simply a caterpillar trying to get from one branch to another, or am I trying to transform myself into the best version of me?
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.” -T.D. Jakes
Butterflies taste with their feet.
Butterflies do not have mouths.
Butterflies need sun to fly.
Butterflies fly during the day.
Butterflies can see some colors. They can see red, yellow, and green.
Butterflies cannot fly if they are too cold. They need to be warm to fly.
Butterflies have their skeleton on the outside of their body. This is to protect them. It keeps the water inside of their body. This is good because they do not dry out.
The wings of a butterfly are transparent. The wings of a butterfly have tiny scales. These give their wings color. This is why they do not look transparent to us.
A fully grown caterpillar can be over 100 times larger than when it emerged from its egg.