|A Blue Morpho checks out my hat|
Every year, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park brings in a selection of butterflies. And every year we trek up there, wait in line, then stand around taking pictures of these beautiful creatures for half-an-hour or more. Why? I’ll admit, I was reluctant to go this time, as the assorted species seem to vary little each year. But my wife was looking forward to it, so this Easter weekend we packed up our cameras and headed off to the Park.
Divergent beliefs surround Butterflies. Some people see them as the Fae manifesting in our world. Some view them as symbols of the soul. I find them fascinating for two reasons: 1) Because they undergo such dramatic transformation in their brief lives, and 2) Because they always seem to land on me.
|Another friend hitches a ride|
That’s not to say that this occurs in the real world. But inside the enclosure at the Park, the creatures alight on me nearly every year. Sometimes one will perch on my shoulder or back for the entire time I’m in the enclosure, and I’ll need an attendant to brush it off before I leave. This time, at least three of them touched down to investigate what this dude with a camera was up to.
Science might say that they land on me because of my pheromones, or the colors I wear. Others believe that I am nearing or entering a period of profound change, or than I’m in harmony with nature. Some even venture that these delicate creatures appreciate my ability to bounce back from disappointments, or that the butterflies are really the souls of the departed coming back to protect me.
And then there was the suggestion that I simply consume too much butter. Hmm.
|Time to catch a few rays?|
Frankly, I’m not sure what to make of any of the above reasons. As my wife and I have lived together, eaten together, and done practically everything together for the past two decades, it’s hard to imagine my pheromones are dramatically different from hers. While we don’t wear matching clothes, we usually dress to complement each other. Aside from writing this blog, there’s nothing I can point to that represents significant change in my life. My gardening is usually limited to hedge trimming, and helping my wife plan (and create) new planting beds; it is she who actually works with the plants. I shelved my over-long space opera after a big-time literary agent declared it unoriginal. Since then, I haven’t invested as much energy as I should have in submitting my mainstream novel, and have abandoned several novels without finishing them. I think it’s safe to say that I’m less resilient than I’d like to be. How about the notion of butterflies being the souls of departed relatives coming back to visit me? Well, I guess I’d prefer to believe that their souls are in a better place (and have better things to do than flit about a Park enclosure for a month). Still, the latter’s a comforting notion to a loner who’s seen so many of his loved ones die during his (not-so-short) lifetime.
Then again, since my trip last year to England, I’ve discovered that I enjoy eating bread far more than I used to. Perhaps I should reexamine my butter intake.
|"Well, howdy there."|
This blog will conclude with The Significance of Butterflies Part 2.
Related Dragon Cache entries
Related Internet Links
An unrelated, just-for-fun link (thanks to Wondermark.com)