Posted: August 10, 2020 in beautiful
Tags: , , , ,

Last week a friend gave me a jar with a net over the top, inside were some sticks with leaves, and attached to those were two chrysalises, pointy ends, fat middles, yellow-green. Her neighbors had collected them, to protect them from getting eaten by birds. I was honored to be selected to be a part a butterfly conservation

Yesterday morning my wife noticed that butterflies had magically appeared in the jars — two beautiful, soft yellow sulphers, Phoebis sennae.

They were perfect Pieridae, Cloudless Yellow Sulphurs with spindly little legs, filament like antennas, gorgeous gracile wings, yellow with flecks of red, painted as if sfumato — amazing! I took the jar outside, took off the lid and gently tilted them out.

One — Rosie I’d say— flew immediately, clearly a bon vivant, high in the air and with soigné landed in the top of a banana tree. They always come with names when they come to our grand garden. The other, Amelia, flopped out, and fluttered to the ground. Thinking she wasn’t safe there, I put my finger down to prompt her to move, and she winged up and landed on the back of my hand. For the briefest moment she touched me, she entered my Hieroclesian circle.

Perhaps she was at risk, not ready, needing to find a safe spot to finish drying, and so I — in extremis, my chronic pain hammering my brain — became a temporary safe platform or jump pad and from there she made her way along a bumpy air road to a small redwood trellis that I have built over our backyard pond. There she sat perfectly still, limned in sunlight. Protected. I checked on her later and she was a gone.

They had metamorphosed, transformed, entered the chrysalises as a caterpillars, melted down and reformulated into amazing winged creatures. Metanoia!

Wings, the stuff of wonder, the Cherubim over the ark of the covenant, the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre, the great winged Assyrian Lions, fairies, Peter Pan, the Wright brothers first airplanes, Pegasus, flying fish, eagles, doves, butterflies, bees, winged seeds. Spirituality, myth, biology — flight fills our world and animates our dreams.

And as for these yellow sulphurs, I had seen their first flights. They needed no training. Flight had been built in.

  1. Beth L Eldridge says:

    How wonderful !?!!

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