Tuesday, July 29, 2008

*Butterfly Sonata No. 1*

One of the most ordinary activities in the Universe, getting the mail.
I'm walking back, a few magazines and letters in my hand.
I notice a white butterfly flitting among the foliage in front of me.
I smile, and I turn on the path.
Then the white butterfly flits directly across my field of vision, darting ahead of me.
I follow it around the corner, and see...

Orange Monarch-type butterflies, at least four, maybe six, perhaps even eight.
They launch nearly as one, stimulated by the white butterfly passing by.
And then they dance in the air, complicated maneuvers around the hanging plants.
Now and again they pair off, spiraling madly through the air at "breakneck" speed.
(that is, if they had necks to break) ;-)
Courtship dances? Territorial dances? I don't know, but it's almost impossible to follow their intricate passes completely, as they bank and dive and swirl - with nary a collision!

Time stops.
I drink in the sight of these butterflies, with my eyes, with my heart, with my soul.
Wings of Satsuma-tangerine orange, of sunset orange, beating beneath a deep blue sky, beating among the green of hanging plants...with the most brilliant purple flowers I've seen in a while.
These flowers: light lavender petals surrounding indigo centers, from which tiny yellow stalks arise in clusters. They take my breath away when I notice them, until I remember to breathe again.

The butterflies flit about this slice of perfection, now rapidly, now slowly, but always in motion.
Behind me, I hear a hummingbird's twitter, a crow's caw.
A junebug drones his way through the tableau. I know it's my grandfather, just as I know my grandmother is one of the butterfly dancers. These humble insects are their respective totems.

At last, the butterflies seem to have restored harmony among themselves. Their flights become smaller, soon to return to sacred stillness.
I bow to them and resume my journey homeward, grateful beyond words for this gift of Beauty*full Grace.

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