by: Elizabeth Cunningham
As a child, I loved life on our farm. My brothers and I ran the hills, playing outside for hours. I remember chasing butterflies with them. We laughed, stumbling, and falling, only to get back up with arms stretched out in front of us, continuing the adventure. Once in a while we would catch one and put it in a mason jar, only to release it because it looked happier flying free. A few years later, at school, for the first time, I watched the transformation of the caterpillar changing into a butterfly. The metamorphosis was powerful!
Many years later, while on vacation, my husband and I visited a Butterfly Conservatory. We were surrounded by butterflies from all over the world. In awe, I felt as though I had been transported to a magical garden with butterflies of every color, size, and shape. Standing with head thrown back and arms outstretched, I felt like a child again. I was totally immersed in the beauty surrounding me. Everywhere I looked, butterflies soared above and around me, looking like airborne fairies. Some were tucked in the lush bushes and flowers. Others, in their splendid beauty landed on me and I had the pleasure of enjoying the sheer delicacy of their wings and their extraordinary beauty. It reminded me of a quote by Maya Angelou, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”