What is the significance of butterflies? I have always wondered about this.. They come in such a variety of remarkable colors.. stunning in their coloration, and markings.
I have known people who have tattooed them upon their person, to remember a child that was lost, or had been killed. A particular story I am recalling, is a Mum who visited the spot along the side of the road, and stood on the gravel…where her son was killed in a car accident. As she struggled to keep standing there…afterwards,..in a daze, a black butterfly flew around her. She felt as if this was her son coming to her… for comfort… for understanding…. When she opened up, and told me this story, she recounted how butterflies would visit with her when she would come back to that lonely side of the road.
This really touched her heart, and comforted her because she felt as if her son was reaching out, and comforting her in her loss. This was a special visit to a Mother who was filled with a deep and lingering sorrow, because of the missing of her dearly beloved son.
One day at the hockey arena years ago, we sat and visited, as our sons played, and that day I had on a long sleeve tee shirt with a depiction of butterflies on it, and that’s when she told me her story of her son, and his car accident.
She had such a far away look in her eyes, and the deep sadness, that clung to her glistening spheres, mesmerized me. I listened with rapt attention, and she told me about him….. her son. She told of the butterflies that came to visit, and then she showed me the tattoos on her back… she was collecting them…for him… for her. It was a connection that was palpable.
When I got back home, I washed my tee shirt, and the next time I saw her… I gave the “ butterfly tee shirt to her..She smiled brokenly, and hugged me…
This is a sacred moment that I immediately recall, each time I see a butterfly. I didn’t know it at the time… but I would require this same comfort when my child died.
Ordinary creatures can give extraordinary comfort, and pleasure to a hurting person.
I painted the front door to the family cottage the other day. It used to be a golden yellow, and before that, I think it was white. It was chippping badly, and as I scraped the loose pieces of old paint away, the underside of the door was exposed.. the door’s bones.
The more I scraped, and used sand paper, the more raw this entrance became.
I recalled how many friends and family that had walked through this door in the last 40 years. This place has been a memory maker, and this door has welcomed many faces, and all ages, with the promise of sanctuary within.
Just open the door, to the cottage, to your heart. The color red stimulates the senses. It is vibrant, powerful, and the strong life blood that courses through our veins. It is not to be ignored. It makes you sit up and take notice.. Stop signs are red, and lots of fire engines too. It demands attention, and the woman wearing a red dress, can never be a wallflower.
As I painted the door yesterday, a quiet little butterfly flew by, and then I heard a rustle in the bush, and out danced a dear, followed by a second, and a third.. It was so exquisite, that I could scarcely breathe. Sometimes there are moments so peaceful that the veil between heaven and earth, feels transparent, and I catch a glimmer ….and can almost touch … almost..
The scars are still visible beneath the fresh coat of red paint, if you look closely. I couldn’t scrape it all off, and did not have an electric sander, so hopefully this new color will stick.
It reminded me of life. Our scars are there on our person. We can choose to cover them up with make up, hats, clothes, or plastic surgery, but the lines, pock marks from acne, mastectomy scars, or stitches that sewed up our torn flesh will remain. Some people have other peoples’ organs inside them. I have always wondered if a person feels differently with another persons’ body part inside them.. A new heart, liver, kidney, face, skin? It’s miraculous what modern medicine can accomplish.
It is amazing to me that the scar tissue that is left over is stronger, and tougher than the more perfect flesh that it covered up.
“Stronger in our broken places.”
I wonder why we would ever find it necessary to cover our battle wounds? They show that we have lived life, we have engaged. We did not sit on the sidelines, we risked injury, and we felt pain.
There is no safe journey…that is for sure, but there is certainly joy in the middle of it all, and it can permeate all that we do, if we allow the imperfection of existence to prevail.
I read something early this morning that was deeply meaningful to me..
” Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you, We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberated others.”..(Marianne Williamson)
The butterfly seems to flit about from here to there, lighting on my bright poppy red door. It is attracted to the color, and it is drawn to it, as was the buzzing bumble bee too. The red geranium stands out from the lush green of its leaves. It is bold, and makes no apology for itself.
This past week I did ABA therapy with a young boy who is on the autism spectrum. He was adorable, curious, smart, and happy. He is 3 years old. It was very satisfying to work with him.. The name of the institution was called “ Blue Butterfly Montessori School.”..
I was curious about this name, and goggled it’s significance. I have been contemplating butterflies for quite a while…
” Butterflies have long been associated with a deep and powerful representation of the soul and spiritual transformation. The blue color is often thought to symbolize healing, whether it be personal healing or the healing of someone close to you. Many natives of the rainforest see the “ blue butterfly” as a wish granted.”
I really hope I get to see a blue butterfly soon..