As I walked toward my garden this morning with the intent of photographing the eggplants growing there, a butterfly suddenly flew out of the mulberry and flew swiftly right in front of me so that I had to stop and even take a step back. The red-spotted purple butterfly fluttered a bit in front of me then continued over to Mimi, snoozing on the picnic table, and danced around her, then fluttered off to rest in the sun on some autumn asters near to each of us, then flew away.
Mimi looked at me, I looked at Mimi. We see butterflies all the time when we’re outside, but they don’t usually greet us. We knew this was a visitor as I’ve noted before. A butterfly stands for metamorphosis, change and growth, even rebirth because of its own manner of development from one type of creature to another. In this way it symbolizes transformation, even symbolizing the resurrection for some Christians, and has long been a symbol for the soul in many cultures—the Greek word for both “soul” and “butterfly” is “psyche”. And, finally, because butterflies seemed to dance as they flutter and fly they are said to dance the dance of joy.
We thought of Kelly, whose passing we are remembering today, and even Lakota more recently, but it seemed more likely to be all our garden cats, Cookie, Namir, Moses, Stanley, Sally and Kublai as well as Kelly, come to bid us hello on this lovely morning, and to tell us to enjoy our beautiful morning while we had it. It was nice to be all together again.
And I don’t know my butterflies all that well, just the most common, and I’d never seen one of these before in my backyard. But I had just read something somewhere that mentioned red-spotted purples, and as soon as I saw this butterfly its name came to mind and I think I even said it softly to myself. All of this resulted in plenty of photos today…
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