When they were young, my daughters decided to keep their butterflies, and feel the heartache of each life ending. My nephew let all but one be free. And then deeply experienced the pain from his decision.
These little creatures have very little time on this earth: some species live a week or two; some a year if they are lucky to survive the increasingly difficult migration. It’s a poignant decision for a child to make, knowing that free butterflies live longer than captured ones.
Don’t we all? Yes, we should live as freely as we can. We need to feel the fleeting nature of our own lives; not to despair, but to generate the courage to leave our cage and fly.
I recently attended a writer’s workshop, and was given the prompt: If I let my life happen . . .
I couldn’t help but think of butterflies.
If I Let My Life Happen . . .
There is a butterfly on my shoulder. Its wings open and close in my ear. I don’t dare move. Yet, it’s not taking flight. It stays with me up and down the stairs. Not feeling captured or busy but entertained by my running.
Sunshine is a window away. It knows its direction but won’t go without me. So he is patient. And I hurriedly finish my work, shortening my list of to do’s enough to fly along.
We touch each piece of God’s beauty that offers nectar. Feeling into the currents of warm air that take me higher. No guide needed. Density below, warmth on my wings, and gratitude in my heart. I take flight before life is over. It’s fleeting but not too short. No sorrows. No words. No song. No need to despair.
The dust of color from my wings has worn off from full-contact living. My antennas are slowly losing sensation. My mouth is dry but smiling. My flight is sporadic. I fall away.
Is there a difference?
Direction is subjective.
I have spread my wings.
My life is whole.