Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Miracle of Nature

Since I spent a week or so getting ready for theWiddahoodRetreat:  Colorado, I promised the kids that this week would be their week.  Hard to believe, but they will be going back to school next week.  So we’re doing our best to fit in what we can in the space of 7 days.

High on the list was a trip to the Butterfly Pavilion, a great place to go here in Colorado.  The kids are actually able to hold a friendly tarantula named “Rosie” (Mom opted out) and look at insects from all over the world.  But the best part is...they get to walk around a huge atrium while colorful butterflies swirl around them.

One of the things I love the most about the Butterfly Pavilion is that when I walk into the hot, humid, rainforest-like atrium where the butterflies really makes me appreciate living in cool, dry Colorado.  The hair that I worked so foolishly to straighten before we left, curled up into a “Shirley Temple-like do” the moment I walked in.  And my kids experienced sweat (which usually evaporates so quickly in our dry climate they don't even know it exists) in the man-made heat and humidity.

(Needless to say, we’re not the heartiest bunch.  After about 45 minutes we were ready to get the heck out of there.)

If it weren’t for the conditions, though, I could watch the butterflies all day.  They are just amazing creatures and each one is so individual.  If you sit still, they’ll land in your hair, on your shoulder...they’re just everywhere.  The white ones that were as big as birds looked like angels to me.  The ones that had the most vivid blue streaks on the insides of their wings and then the most clever camouflage on the outside (making them look like owl eyes) were just a marvel of nature.  That place even makes an ordinary moth look good.

At one point, the kids and I decided to take a break on a bench and just observe the butterflies around us.  My daughter suddenly looked down and saw one with most of its wing broken clean off.  We all sat there and watched it, perched on a leaf, and felt a little sad because we couldn’t imagine that this beautiful creature could possibly survive.

So...we were shocked when suddenly it just took off, swirled around us, and landed in my daughter’s hair.

There is a lesson to be learned here.

that beauty surrounds us all of the time

but it’s often so individual 
that we have to 
pay close attention

otherwise it might be hidden from us

and that even creatures who seem so irrevocably broken

somehow find a way to 

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