As I sit outside and reflect on my journey, I am visited by an unexpected guest. A butterfly hovers for a moment, flitting it’s dainty wings and then lands on the table in front of me. Ironically I am thinking of the sensation of being trapped. In fact, I am feeling trapped and confined.

I watch, captivated and decide to remember the moment in a photograph. As I reach for my phone, the butterfly takes flight. I ponder its movements and its sojourns through time. 

I can relate to this wondrous creature. When any threat approaches, she quickly flees, flying on to the next place of sanctuary. She is a creature of the air and of majesty. The slightest movement will set her wings in motion; tiny footsteps approaching or the sound of a nearby voice. Even the gentlest breath when too near will startle this lovely creature. I imagine it is her fear of a hand too near, grasping her too tightly. For she is fragile and the thought of being pinned to a cork board for future study is repelling to her. Yes, they will ooh and aah over her uniquely colored wings and her rare genus, but she is made to fly. Anything less would equate to death.

The feeling of restriction is all too familiar to her. I remember that she has spent much of her life in a cocoon, tightly hemmed in and unable to break free. Now she has tasted freedom and she will not be bound again. The cocoon, after all, is a painful place that she will not return to. 

Instinctively the caterpillar knows she is under Mother Nature’s gentle watch. Still she fears this womb of transformation and loathes the tight confines binding her in place. She searches for an inner resting place, a place of peace in spite of her current conditions. There she falls into a self made slumber, awaiting the day she will emerge.

I am awakened from my thoughts as this beautiful butterfly returns to light upon my hand. She stays but a moment and I am humbled that she would choose to grace me with her presence. There is no part of me that desires to capture her and place her in jars or pin her down for observation. I am aware that she is most beautiful and that she is her truest self only in her natural element. She may not stay long, but the precious moments when I am lucky enough to see her fly by, are priceless indeed. 

As she flies away into the gentle spring breeze, I am aware that I have been gifted with a divine message yet again. Mother Nature has spoken…

… “You have spent long enough in the snug embrace of growth’s cocoon. It is time my dear; time for you to fly and pursue the dreams you hold in your heart. You are a creature of magic and mystery. Your beauty is a gift from the Creator, not to be pinned down, but to bestow blessings upon all those you meet. Fly here love and fly there. Return again. For it is in the journey that you will find your final resting place. Until that day comes, spread your wings proudly. You have certainly earned them!”

Written by: Tiffany Jackson

Photography by: Tiffany Jackson