Thursday, February 19, 2009

Watching butterflies

In the strange story that is a life, you can never take too many chances on letting the butterfly of happiness rest awhile on your shoulder.

Happiness - the Butterfly - is a flighty little thing. She won't be caught in a net or trapped in an enclosure or pinned to a board. She can't do her softly, softly magic dead now can she?

Happiness - the Butterfly lands artfully where she pleases and it just so happens I can see her fluttering near my woe begotten brow and I'm breathless in anticipation for her to just alight on me and take her time to rest there on my little soul.

I once dreamed of a giant butterfly with blue wings with jeweled colours underneath. It spoke to me and asked me if I could let it "feel the cold" for just a little while. I let it rest in my hand and I took it through the Butterfly enclosure in which it lived, all warmth and wet air with nectar stations every few feet - a butterfly paradise really - and I went through the door at one end and then the second door on the other side of that wee space between doors.

The butterfly rested with wings wide open on the palm of my hand, after the humid heat of the enclosure. the cool air was a shock even to my senses, . She lay very still, and very open. I remember thinking how strange it was for a butterfly to keep its wings so open in such conditions. In my understanding, butterflies tend to close their wings to conserve their body heat in the cold. This butterfly, however, was a mystery. She wanted to feel...really feel the cold air against her wings. She needed to know what that was like and needed me to help her find out.

I was getting worried for her. She was so still, so unearthly and beautiful. I thought she had died a soft, quiet, strange death in my hand and I felt remorse that I had done such a thing to something so lovely. I turned and took her back into the enclosure.

She remained still in my hand for a few moments more. Then with a ticklish flutter, she wrested herself free from my hand and floated away on the soggy air to find a nectar station on which to re-fuel. I was amazed at how well she had recovered. And eternally pleased as well.

Later in the dream, when I was standing on the open grassy field that sloped gracefully upwards to a rolling hill towards the horizon, where the hand painted sun smiled down on the Badger and me, the butterfly returned and simply said "Thank you" to me. I knew why she said thank you. It surprised me nonetheless, that she had valued her near-death experience so much.

I've been separated now for 9 months. I think I too, have had my wings spread on the palm of God's hand feeling what it's like to be cold. I have felt the lowest of lows and the most excruciatingly lower lows than those. I survived.

And now the butterfly that is named Happiness awaits her turn to rest awhile...but only when she's ready and only on her terms. I will watch her dance about my head in the meantime.

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