The butterfly is a powerful symbol, clearly representing the process of transformation. An emblem of change, joy and colour.
We bought my husband’s family farm, sixteen years ago and I have always been in awe of the variety and amount of butterflies that cohabitate with us. However, this is the first year that we have seen and have been inundated with monarch butterflies. We’ve had painted ladies, swallowtails, little blues and other orange and black sorts but never monarchs. I was enthralled at how many showed up last week and amazed at their size as well as their boldness. They will even take on birds.
It seems plausible that due to tornadoes south of us, and the high winds that we have experienced, that they may have been thrown off course. The problem that now befalls them is that I have never seen milkweed growing here and my friend Carrie declares that because of this, we may never see them here again. These majestic butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed because of the plant’s poison that is emitted, which does not harm the monarch, but does discourage other animals from rummaging around it. Consequently, the monarch’s eggs stay safe.
When an animal reveals itself to me in such a profound way, I turn to author Ted Andrews, and his book, AnimalSpeak. He proclaims that when a butterfly shows up, one should make note of the issues that are present and at what stage of change one is at in regard to them. He goes on to say that butterflies remind us not to take life so seriously as they appear to dance from flower to flower.
And so I wonder…
Change is inevitable, I know this, but it does not have to be traumatic and can occur sweetly and gently like the touch of a butterfly. After all, “the butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” (Rabindranath Tagore)