Monday, 23 June 2014
Butterflies are everywhere here at this time of year; bright bits of winged confetti decorating the landscape. They come in all sizes and colours, from small white moths, to bright monarchs, to the brown beauty seen here.
I love to watch them.
Pale coloured moths and bright monarchs are often most visible in the shade, like little shards of sunlight against the deep greens and shadows of the foliage around them.
Conversely, deeply coloured moths and butterflies are often most visible in brightly lit spots, or in drifts of pale coloured flowers that contrast beautifully with the rich hues of their wings.
If you watch them for a while, you get some sense of how much effort goes into the flight of a butterfly; They are not efficient flyers, and their wings - so large in relative comparison to their bodies - take so much work to move that they bob up and down with the sheer effort of it.
Despite the work flight requires of them, butterflies are efficient pollinators, providing us a great service in the course of their search for nectar. Not only do they decorate the garden with their beauty, they actually make possible many of the flowers and fruits we see there.
And, of course, butterflies are a powerful metaphor for happiness.
Butterflies and happiness have this in common: When you chase them, they fly away from you, always settling out of reach. If you sit still and are patient, they will often come to you. Neither happiness nor butterflies will settle on your shoulder unless you are still enough to allow them to do so.
Today, at the beginning of a busy week, I can use this reminder. It's important to take a little time each day to sit, and watch, and appreciate all the beautiful gifts life brings us.
There lies happiness.
I hope that your Monday is off to a good beginning, and that you find some time today to admire your own butterflies, to let happiness settle upon your shoulder, and peace to settle in your heart.
Have a joyful day.