Saturday, June 30, 2012

A gift

I received a beautiful gift today.

I came home from work in the early evening and immediately changed into shorts and a t-shirt. It has been a very hot and dry month, leaving the yard parched. Early this spring I decided to plant a butterfly garden, hoping to draw some of my little friends to the back yard. Unfortunately, between the heat, a groundhog and my stingy watering habits, the garden has been looking rather sorry.

However, I never let such things stop me in my quest for beauty. I grabbed my camera and ventured into the yard. "I can begin by documenting how very dry it is", I thought, reminded of how my soul thirsts for God. There had been a very meager shower earlier in the afternoon. It was still warm, cloudy and prematurely dark.

I took the picture.

Clearly not the
beauty I was seeking.

Yet it was a start.

I decided to walk over to my poor little garden and assess the damage wrought by another sizzling day. Something drew my attention to a plain yellow leaf. It had not occurred to me that it was not the season for leaves to turn yellow and fall. Something else had caught my attention. Was that a butterfly resting on the leaf?

From afar, I took a picture.

(My tiny friends can be rather skittish.)

Ah, a Red Admiral. It was in the news that they would be plentiful this year. I moved closer, shooting new photos as I approached. He (or she? hard to tell with this type...) did not seem to be going anywhere.

Droplets of rain.

Perhaps that is what drew him?

So beautiful.

And suddenly he was gone! I did not see where he went... but I a sensed some fluttering near me. And there he was - perched first on my shorts, then hopping onto my t-shirt. I gazed down at him, delighted. I thanked him for visiting me and invited him to step onto my arm.

And so he did, his wings closed.

I waited.

And then they opened.

I expected him to dash off at any moment but, oddly, he did not. His wings folded again and he remained perched on my arm while I talked to him. (Yes, I do talk to butterflies... and birds... and squirrels... )  I apologized that my garden did not have any nectar to offer him.

I took him to my neighbor's garden.

I showed him her flowers, offering them.

Yet he stayed with me.

Back in my yard, I wondered what was next. And then, without warning, he was once again gone, vanished from my sight ...

Looking up, I saw him. He was fluttering against the sky with a new-found energy, jostling with another butterfly.

I smiled.

Beauty visited me today. (May He visit you as well...)