Sunday, September 9, 2007

Butterfly Kisses

I experienced a mystery of life that will never grow old,
It was an exciting encounter that to me did unfold,
In this life, however long or wherever I trod,
I shall never forget how, through a Butterfly kiss, I felt the Touch of God.

-James Bunton

Yesterday the kids and I went to visit my grandmother for her 81st birthday. She lives in the country, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is where we can go to encounter nature at it's finest. If we listen, the bullfrogs will serenade us in the evening with their sonorous bellowing. And in the morning, if we sit quietly in the bay window of the kitchen, we can see the brilliant colors of the hummingbirds fluttering by. And sometimes, if we are lucky, we will catch the butterflies on their migration South. Yesterday was one of our lucky days.

I walked out on my grandmother's front porch and was amazed to see at least a dozen beautiful Monarch butterflies fluttering around. There is something magical about the flight of butterflies. Their wings carry them gracefully from one place to the next in what seems to be a well orchestrated dance.

After a moment's hesitation while I took in the beauty of it all, I called the children to come and watch them. My father told the children to be real still and see if a butterfly would land on their finger. For awhile, Haley and Holden stood there with their fingers poked through the porch railing. Haley, for reasons unknown to us, was the lucky one to have a butterfly land on her finger. You can only imagine the excitement in her eyes as the butterfly gently stroked her finger as if giving her a kiss. It must have liked her because it stayed on her finger for a long time. When it tired of that perch, it would flutter about, rest on a plant and then return to her. She was able to attract several more and one trusted her enough to let her carry them on it on her finger to Holden so he too could experience the gentle kiss of the butterfly.

Watching them made me think of how small things bring such joy to a child. The wonderment of that moment, when they became part of the majestic dance of the butterflies and perhaps briefly felt the touch of God, will remain forever etched in their memories.