Butterfly, Fly

We must remain as close to the flowers, the grass, and the butterflies as the child is who is not yet so much taller than they are. We adults, on the other hand, have outgrown them and have to lower ourselves to stoop down to them. It seems to me that the grass hates us when we confess our love for it. Whoever would partake of all good things must understand how to be small at times. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Butterflies have always fascinated me; they are the one bug that I actually don’t mind touching or landing on me.

What I love about the butterfly is that out of their ugliness (the cocoon) they emerge as beautiful, unique creatures. We all do that. We’re not all that attractive as children (whiney, noisey messes, we are) or teenagers (continue the whiney with a lot of angst thrown in)…and even as adults many of us could still use some work (yes, the whiney may continue even though our cars are better and so is our skin).

Most of us keep working, despite the whine that roars up from behind from time to time. We work our way from caterpillar into cocoon, fight our way free from the bonds the cocoon holds over us and emerge (eventually) as beautiful creatures.

We have two butterfly farms near us and both are so much fun to visit. We took bebe for her first time a few weeks ago. The first butterfly to land on her hand elicited a scream and when she realized how soft, non-slimy and generally non-creepy it felt, the scream turned to a sigh. From that moment the squeals and laughter erupted every couple of minutes as more and more butterflies came by to ‘inspect’ us. From the ugliest brown-and-brown butterfly to one that was an ethereal blue, we watched as the butterflies floated by, stopped to smell the roses and generally enjoyed their day.

Some days it is a little easier to take time off to smell the roses than others. Today is one of the not-so easy days. And yet, I’m going to take a little time because the butterflies are out. After our deep water run yesterday morning, I caught sight of not one but ten butterflies outside our windows. A few fluttering by on the street. Several checking out my daisies and marigolds. I haven’t managed a picture yet, but I’ll keep trying. I have no idea why they’re here so early this year, but they’ve reminded me to take a little extra time to enjoy those little moments.

What makes you stop to smell the roses – or pet the butterflies? 



  1. Beautiful post, Kristina! And wonderful advice! My daughter, now 13, was terrified of butterflies when she was little. We took her to Fredrick Meijer Gardens which has a butterfly haven, hundreds of species of butterflies all in one room. It’s beautiful and amazing. One landed on her shoulder and she freaked. We had to leave, lol. To this day, she shies away from them. Someday she will see their beauty 🙂

  2. We had an unusual number of butterflies this spring, pint-sized monarch look-a-likes. I could hardly get in the car one day, for them fluttering around the door.

    Years ago, I researched native culture for a book and learned that my spirit animal is the deer and I was born under the butterfly (or something related to butterfly. I should know this). It means I embrace change which is so true.

    Sitting outside, surrounded by my garden, under the maples that have seeded from maples that have probably been there forever, hearing the wind come through the canopy, that traveling rustle . . . that makes me pause every time.

  3. I forget, probably a little too often, to stop and look, listen, wait. But I’m getting better – thanks to bebe. Thanks for stopping by Jennifer and Sharon!

  4. What a beautiful post. I’ve always loved butterflies, watching them float seamlessly through the air, admiring their vibrant colors. I used to catch them with my older brother when I was young. Now I can simply enjoy their beauty and their effortless transformation, a good reminder to let go of my stubborn resistance and embrace change. Aside from butterflies, gazing at flowers, watching the sunset, enjoying the breeze on a hot day or the trickle of water in a nearby stream are ways for me to relax and take stock.

  5. Love butterflies. I always plant flowers that I hope will attract them.

  6. I’ve seen the prettiest butterflies this year and probably the most in one season. Butterflies have a sentimental place in my heart and I absolutely love them. I take time to smell the roses whenever they flutter into my yard, instantly I’m filled with a sense of peace.
    Nice post,

  7. I’m not sure if butterflies have a purpose on earth–pollination, perhaps?–but they seem like a gift given simply for our pleasure.

    • I think pollination…but even if its just to be pretty, I think that’s enough! Thanks for coming by, Carol!

  8. Butterflies are so extraordinary! I am forever trying to take photograph them. Lovely post. :^)

  9. What a great post, Kristi. I’ve always found butterflies soothing. Kind of jealous that you’re so close to not one, but two butterfly farms–which I really didn’t even know existed. I also like fireflies although it’s been many of moon since I’ve seen them (like 40 years worth) but to me, fireflies are kind of magical.

    • Love watching for lightning bugs (as we call them). We have a flock just across our yard, Margie.

  10. Portland has a butterfly exhibit every summer–a huge tent where exotic butterflies are free and the humans have to stay on the designated paths. It’s beautiful. Thanks for reminding me I need to go see it this year.

  11. I love this post…and butterflies!

  12. Like you, it’s my loved ones who remind me to treasure the moments. I don’t have many regrets in life, but as I get older I more and more recognize the importance of enjoying the moments you are in and the people you are with rather than rushing helter-skelter toward some future goal.

    Beautiful post – thank you!

  13. “We’ll live, and pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh at gilded butterfly’s… ” (William Shakespeare, King Lear)

    Loved this post, thanks. Butterfly’s live, not just in our tummy’s, but in our wandering souls.

  14. Beautiful post, Kristina. Thanks for the reminder. I don’t often pause from the hustle and bustle of my life at all, but I need to figure out a way to do that. I find aquariums relaxing. (Visiting large ones or just watching fish in a reglar size one ) I love butterflies and fireflies/lightning bugs too. I’ve actually seen them quite a bit lately. They’re fascinating. When a loved one passes or I hear about a tragedy, it makes me take stock of what’s important, but I seldom slow down long enough to just breathe. 🙂

  15. I love butterflies and actually their life cycle and the change from ugliness to beauty inspired one of my contemporary Westerns (which had been titled Butterfly until my editor–rightfully so–asked me to change the title).

    Nice article, Kristi…. And you are right. We do need to take time to watch the butterflies!

  16. Thanks for visiting, Sara! Alicia, our nearest big aquariu, is 4 hours away…but i love going. You’re right, they are relaxing!

  17. I’ve never been to a butterfly house. Now I have to go. Thanks

  18. Two butterfly farms near you? What FUN!! One of my best friends has always wanted to have a ladybug farm.
    Lovely post, thanks!

  19. The only design plan for my garden is to attract butterflies. The result is beautiful.

  20. The cover photo on my author fb page was taken by my husband at the Dow Gardens butterfly house on Mother’s Day. It was like being in a Disney movie. Nice post and a good reminder to enjoy the ordinary moments, Kristina.

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