With watercolor pencils, 4/29/12
“Mommy, what do butterflies eat?”
“I don’t know,” I answered my youngest daughter. “But we can try to find out.”
Kaelyn and Kyla are obsessed with butterflies these days. When they see one they have to chase it. And I let them. Isn’t that what childhood is all about?
I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to notice butterflies myself. Even when I was a kid. But perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe I just forgot what it’s like to chase beauty. To see.
Thanks to these little girls in my life, I’m seeing butterflies everywhere. Bright and beautiful creatures in the fields by the school, perched on our back fence, and flying by when we’re out walking. I even saw one dead on our sidewalk. Kae told me she thought we should leave it alone because it’s “sleeping.” I agreed.
A couple of weekends ago, we trekked a few blocks to visit a tree nursery. Just before entering the nursery gate, we stopped at a patch of puffy purple flowers. An orange monarch butterfly perched on top, drinking nectar without any concerns that we were watching. In fact, it didn’t seem concerned about anything at all. It was simply receiving. Living.
I am jaded by the world. Running from here to there. Frantic. Tired. I’m learning to pay attention to my little girls' squeals. Those are the things of our Father. I’m learning to stop and stare at the butterflies on purple flowers. All things Wise and Wonderful.
I never got a chance to look up Kaelyn’s question. Kyla already knew the answer—butterflies drink nectar with their probiscus. I’m actually glad I didn’t have an opportunity to find this information. It was so much more fun to hear it from my eight-year-old and then see it for myself.
Slowly I am learning to stop, look, listen, and be. Step by step I am discovering.