The Beautiful and Bewildering Butterfly

Close your eyes for a moment
Imagine a butterfly
With wings of incomparably beauty
Yet with such stillness
You wonder why

It stands majestically, yet somehow tragically
This butterfly does not flap it’s wings in the sky
Like the butterflies that float, tumble, weave and rise
No, not this butterfly

Though his wings are filled with brilliant colour
They seem surely stuck together
Anchoring this little creature to the ground
And fixing your gaze – wondering what life holds for him now

He stands on the ground that was never meant to be his home
No, this was only supposed to be a resting place
Sure, he had known it as a caterpillar
But now? It seemed backward and blurred
As if the miraculous transformation had not actually occurred

Is this butterfly injured?

It is hard to tell if this is a permanent state
After all it had been raining for days
And you didn’t want to touch those fragile wings
For though you deeply wanted to see him fly
Such acts would be rash and may damage this butterfly

You sit
You watch
You wait

You read about how to care for butterflies
Even those that do not fly
This little guy will not be able to reach the nectar so sweet
Not with only his feet
He has somehow gotten by on puddles found upon the ground
Perhaps this butterfly may like a little more care for now

You find a twig to reach over to his feet
Wondering if he’ll respond
You release your breath as indeed he does
You bring him in where hopefully he can dry off

Though such a little creature
His story is captivating, compelling, and uncomfortable
Can you even imagine how mad you would be?
To wait so long to grow wings
To wait for all the promises they’d bring
And they did nothing?
Even that they looked pretty would be mockery

While life was once enjoyed upon the ground
This was not the story you would’ve been told would come round
And to see everyone fly
As you looked up and wondered why
Anger at the injustice would only intensify

I know, I know butterflies do not think and feel as we do
Yet somehow, I think you might see this too

You fix a mixture of sugar and water
And place it near the beautiful creature

You sit
You watch
You wait

Wondering if he knows what to do
Wondering if he is on a hunger strike
In protest of this unjust loss of flight
Wondering if it may be easier when he’s out of sight
Of the other butterflies passing by

You sit
You watch
You wait

You wonder how this insect has touched so many of your heart strings
You wonder what would have happened if you were to busy to notice these seemingly simple things
You wonder why you haven’t simply taken the time to wonder for awhile.

You sit
You watch
You wait
He drinks

Okay good, protest averted
But still what to do with those wings?
The wings that stand tall into the air
And are vulnerable to the slightest tear

Can you keep a butterfly as a pet?
You’ve been to a few butterfly rooms in museums
It can’t be the hardest insect to care for
Yet, if you were this butterfly wouldn’t you long for more?

To migrate with thousands across the North American continent
To taste the nectar of bergamot and goldenrod
Milkweed, bee balm, and apple tress

Or maybe he could be at home with this new home
Cared for and with his own two feet – plenty of room to explore
Maybe he could create a new story than what he was told
During those days he crawled around and roamed

I will not say how the story of this butterfly will unfold
I will not wrap it all up in a bow

Yet I will say this
Life throws us many things that are unexpected
Remember, your inherent resilience
Life throws us things that may be deeply unwanted
Life is not always fair
Remember, there are people who love and care

There is always a new word, sentence, page and chapter for you alone to write
There are times when we need to let the wind carry away our expectations
So we may more fully live the life we have today
Not the one we were told we would have yesterday

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