Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lessons from a Butterfly....

Have you ever watched a butterfly for more than a minute?  They are beautiful creatures which come in all sizes and shapes and colors!  When my son was little, we read a book on butterflies over and over and over again.  It was the Alphabet of Butterflies and here are some of the names:
Apollo, Baltimore, Cracker, Dogface, Easter Comma, Falcate Orangetip, Great Purple Hairstreak, Gulf Fritillary, Harvester, Indian Leaf, Jezabel, Kamehameha, Lady Slipper, Magdalena Alphine, Narcissus Jewel, Owl Butterfly, Painted Lady, Queen Alexandria Birdwing, Regal Fritillary, Snout, Transparent, Urania Moth, Ulysses, Violet Copper, Western Pygmy Blue, Xami Hairstreak, Yellow Angled Sulphur, and Zephry Metalmark Butterfly.  Look one of them up and see the beauty and magnificence of these tiny creatures who wing their way between butterfly bushes, spirea bushes and the flowers in your garden - they are gorgeous!!!

The life cycle of every butterfly begins with an egg being laid on the surface of a plant.  Almost all female butterflies lay their eggs on certain preferred plants such as a passionflower vine.  Then, the caterpillar hatches from the egg and begins eating the leaf on which it was born.  After growing and shedding its skin several times, the caterpillar pupates into a chrysalis.  Before long, the adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis to start the cycle all over again.....

Imagine being a butterfly for a moment.  The beginning of life is almost unnoticeable, fragile.  Then, you become a hairy little creature that crawls very slowly on the leaf and/or vine you were born.  Changing and shedding layers numerous times until it becomes a chrysalis.  Imagine living in a cocoon for most of your life!  Growing, changing and waiting to be released from the chrysalis to fly for the very first time. emerge into a world that is unknown to you and you soar on wings that take you here and there, to and frow!!! 

What a beautiful way to think about life:  our start in life is so fragile.  Our growth and maturation process seems interminable at times as we wait until that day when we can fly on our own.  Out of the cocoon woven just for us and onto a vast unknown, we fly into a world where we can choose to stop and pause on this flower or that, this bush or that, all the while being admired by the on-lookers who observe our journey! 

Pause and think about your life's journey....your flight from childhood to being a teenager to becoming an adult and growing into old age.  What has been the best part?  What are your favorite "flowers" that you have landed on?  Which part of the journey has caused you the most growth and change?  Were you able to embrace the beauty along the way?  Did you realize that your journey was being observed by outsiders?  Did you realize the beauty within you has possibly sustained others on their way?

Many times we focus only on the hard parts of this life, the tough situations, the rough spots along the way.  Try for just one day to focus on the beauty of your life!  What has been beautiful to experience?  What has been beautiful to be a part of?  What has been beautiful to pass on to others?
Imagine yourself in that chrysalis once again and starting over...What parts would you keep?  What parts would you change?  And, finally what parts are you most grateful for experiencing in this life?

Become that butterfly of your choosing in your mind....choose the color you would like to be...choose the flight you would like to go on....choose the lives that you would effect in a positive, beautiful way. Then, give thanks for the color you are, the journey you have taken and all that has been a part of you taking flight in this world!!!  Soar on............

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