>> April 4, 2011
Visions of children running through a meadow chasing butterflies with a net seem innocent, yet it frightens me. Why? Because a butterfly isn’t meant to be captured; she should always be free.
The butterfly’s life is short and in those mere days, they must be free to do what they do best…provide beauty to the earth and assist in pollination. If she is carelessly handled, she can be rendered flightless and become easy prey, a meal ticket for a swarm of ants or perhaps a slithering snake.
While being the main course for the toads in life is also a part of nature’s cycle, it can be a premature demise for the poor, flightless butterfly. No longer able to assist in the reproduction of beautiful flowers or bring joy to the solemn passerby, the colorful creature’s dreams of freedom are crushed.
I can’t count the times I thought of the quote from Bug’s life when Heimlech, the chubby caterpillar, says:
"Someday, I will be a beautiful butterfly, and then everything will be better."
Life as a pastor’s wife has often left me feeling like a butterfly avoiding the swishing of nets wielded by careless parishioners. I’ve been imprisoned in a glass jar with just enough holes poked in the lid to give me air to breathe… but not room to fly.
Occasionally I was let out of the jar and I fluttered over the windblown grasses in search of the rare flower among them that is longing to share her nectar, to feed me with her own life giving purposes. While she allows me to nourish my soul, I collect life bearing pollen from her in hopes of causing reproduction among the few flowers striving to grow among the choking grasses. But alas, the net scoops me up and careless hands force me back into the jar.
Some of my color is rubbed off and my wings are damaged, but I see the flower that I connected with bloom a little brighter. A smidgen of pollen I collected fell onto a small flowering plant beyond the grassy edge in my attempt to escape… perhaps there is hope for beauty among the seemingly flowerless grasses. And that thought alone brings me joy.
The constant love and support from my husband as he strives to protect me gives me the desire to continue to fly, to seek for flowers…and together we will fly beyond the flowerless grasses. Please…don’t keep the butterfly in a jar.
"I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free." ~Charles Dickens