Most adult butterflies live for about two weeks. That’s all the time allowed for its purpose to be served. My heart sank in learning that fact during a recent visit to the Panhandle Butterfly House. So much beauty fades so quickly from our view. It got me thinking about our own life cycle. We too, are put here for a purpose, for a predetermined time-frame. Some will have the privilege of growing old, gray and wrinkled, while others will be denied (like my story of Destiny). Whether 8 or 88, so much beauty fades so quickly from our view. Are you watching life or are you engaging life?
Watching a butterfly move about – fluttering its wings without making an audible sound – is akin to watching hope take flight, quietly felt from deep within one’s heart. From crawling as a caterpillar to one day soaring as a butterfly. Hope blossoms like that; capable of being magnified throughout our life cycle. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say. The expression has its roots in the 3rd century BC, when it first appeared in Greek. Essayist David Hume wrote in 1742, “beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.” (Per Gary Martin at The Phrase Finder)
No doubt, the perception of beauty is subjective. I am convinced that people lose hope because they lose sight of the beauty of life itself. Where is the beauty in cancer or Alzheimer’s or war or even death, you might ask. Perhaps, it’s not so much in the journey of life as it is in the expression of it, how we move through it, how we deliver the love contained in it, how we magnify the hope of knowing it doesn’t all end here.
Watching people move about, young and old, launching butterflies brought beauty to the eyes of every beholder on that hot sweltering day in Navarre Beach. With vibrant colors all around, we were consumed with the moment. In awe of this creature that brings so much beauty for such a brief time. We forgot the struggles (if only for a moment, if not the whole event), and embraced the hope that stirred inside of us. The purpose was served. Hope is a blessing embedded in our fiber, taking flight when we need it most. Sometimes, we just need a little reminder.
May this extraordinary display of hope quietly settle in your heart and mind.