Butterflies neither toil nor spin

By Olivia Fowler
Staff Reporter

The first cup of coffee in the morning starts the day. It’s a morning ritual. My favorite place to drink it is on the front porch in the stillness of early morning.[cointent_lockedcontent]

olivia6-25 Page 4A.inddI sit there and sip, watching the butterflies swirl around the lantana on the walkway. How do they sustain themselves?

Have you ever wondered what butterflies do for a living?

We know their lives are short in comparison to our lives, so what do they do in their short time on earth?

Apparently they exist to be beautiful and to make us wonder.

We usually fly through each day so busy we forget to enjoy the moments that make it up.

We turn away from living in the moment and rush through the day, stressed out with the attempt to complete another task or check something off the list.

“Have to” and “should have” are phrases that pepper our speech. And of course we turn our backs on many beautiful opportunities because we say we don’t have time.

I can’t do this because I have to do that.

What would happen if we broke that cycle?

What do you think the butterflies think about our frenzied lives, or do they even pay attention to the humans?

The butterflies don’t impose this sort of stress on themselves.

“Hurry up” doesn’t seem to be a phrase they’re familiar with.

There are zebra swallowtails hovering around the lantana and hibiscus. They’ll light on a stem near a bloom and enjoy the pollen.

The honey bees are willing to share. There seems to be plenty for everyone.

This particular morning, I saw several of the ones we call mourning cloaks. I’m not sure what the official name is because I lost our butterfly book long ago, but mourning cloak suits them well enough.

Starting out the day watching the butterflies flit about is a very peaceful way to put the day into perspective. How best can I use this day?

Some days I give myself permission to step off the treadmill and just be. It’s a form of meditation, but it helps in every way.

Each day is a gift. We should open this gift carefully and enjoy all the generosity we benefit from.

The beautiful wings of the butterflies are a promise of the beauty and intricate structure of our world.

We are part of this world, but it is foolish to try to impose our own limited, narrow perspectives onto the vital and powerful thing called life.

Look at our world and really see it. The immense and unlimited variety of every life form is spread before us. Don’t walk by blindly focused on your cellphone. Look and see.

Butterflies are free.