Photo by Ashley Rich on Unsplash
I’ve been dancing with butterflies.
She is everywhere I go. I sit on the back deck while my boys play in the yard and a butterfly flutters her way over us. I go for a walk and she weaves in and out of the tall grass beside me. I sit on a bench by the harbour and see her resting on the wild rose bushes beside me.
I’m certain she is following me. I’m certain she is trying to teach me.
Because I’ve found myself hunched over as I sit to write. Holding my breath while I make dinner. Clenching my teeth between conversations. One eye is always on the clock, watching time as it slips away from me, there is never enough of it, or so it would seem. I’m always trying to stay one step ahead, stay in control. Without knowing it I’ve been working so hard to try and keep everyone safe and happy, and to make something of myself. But anger and resentment still creep their way in. Pain is always hiding just around the corner. Control is not what I was meant to do.
In a heavy world, with broken hearts and broken lives, how do I live like the butterflies do?
I feel it is the only way onward for me.
I slow down and listen for her secrets as I watch her fly. I think about how she was once a caterpillar, how her life symbolizes transition. I know I am changing, but I don’t know where I am headed. The butterfly shows no hesitation in her flight, there are no lines of worry etched across her face. She accepts her transformation and embraces all of life. She is beauty chasing beauty. Playful and full of joy. I can tell she is strong by how quickly her wings move, though they look fragile they can carry her over long distances. In her strength she is graceful and light. She bears no heaviness. She is free.
Each time I see her I catch my breath. My soul sighs. I am lighter just by setting eyes on her.
Be more like me, she whispers.
But how? I ask.
I watch her fly away, wishing she would stay with me just a little while longer. The answer is coming to me though. Day by day, butterfly by butterfly.
First, breathe. Breath, like wings, carries me from one moment to the next. It is essential.
Second, trust. Not in myself, but in One who is stronger, who sees what I can’t. Who knows all of my needs. A Father who in every moment is calling me, naming me, His Beloved daughter.
Third, let go. Of all the things I try to control. Of all the hurts I try to protect. Of all the things I’m trying to be.
Lightness takes effort. But already I can feel my shoulders relaxing, my jaw loosening, my stomach inhaling and exhaling more freely.
Blood was shed so I could be free. This is what I was made for. I was born to fly.