Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tears and Butterflies

Shortly after returning from BlogHer, the hubs and I boarded a plane to Key West.  We had a great time.  On one of the last days we decided to go to the The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Before I go any further, I have to mention that I have been recently entranced by butterflies.  One of my favorite sayings of late is, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a beautiful butterfly.”  Some sources quote this as a proverb.  Some say it’s anonymous.  Wikipedia has no idea.   I say it’s just beautiful.  It has become a mantra, of sorts.  So, understandably, I wanted to go to the conservatory.

I expected it to be beautiful but I did not expect the experience that I had.  We walked in and it was staggeringly beautiful.  There were tons of gorgeous butterflies, but the ones that caught my attention were these beautiful blue butterflies.  On the outside they are brown and unassuming, but when they fly, they are the most beautiful blue you have ever seen. 

They could not keep still.  They rarely landed on anything and when they did, it was not long enough to catch even a blurry photo of them.  

I resigned myself to taking photos of the other beautiful creatures that put themselves on display for us, though what I truly wanted was a picture of one of these blue butterflies. 


We were about half way through when, out of nowhere, I felt a thud on my hand.  I looked down and almost immediately started to tear up.  One of the blue butterflies landed on my hand. 


I continued my silent weeping until a woman walked up to me and said, “I’ve been watching them around you.  Since you walked in, they’ve been following you around trying to land on you. It’s amazing!  I’ve never seen anything like it!”

I stood there for a bit.  I did not want this experience to end.  Surely this butterfly would flit away just like all of it’s friends.  They were fluttering around us not staying in one spot very long.  This one stayed.  As people stopped to take pictures of me and my new friend, it stayed.  As I spoke, it turned and almost seemed to look at me as I spoke.  (The instructions on the website advise that they are afraid of noise and to please be quiet.)


I wandered around, retracing my steps, trying to stay in that moment but hubs was ready to leave.  There was a large group of people that had just entered.  It was time to go.  As we decided to leave, as quickly as it landed, this butterfly flew off.  It’s job had been done.

We stopped in the gift shop and found that this butterfly is the Blue Morpho, native to South America.  Once it has gone through it’s metamorphosis, it lives about ten days.  It hit me that this beautiful creature chose to spend five precious minutes with me. That is a significant amount of time if you’re a Blue Morpho. 

I like to think that I was given an important gift that day.  I like to think I was given some grace. After all,  just when I thought the world was ending, I was graced by a beautiful butterfly.


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