Sunday, October 21, 2007

TRULY Magical Moments at Dragonfly Cottage ~ The Butterfly Who Came Home With Me...

The butterfly counts not months but

moments, and has time enough.

~ Rabindranath Tagore ~

It started with an early evening walk with the dogs, and that I noticed her (I will use the pronoun she based on trying to search for pictures online for the dimorphic features, but it's still hard for me to tell. If any knowledgeable lepidopterist out there can correct me or tell me more about *her*, please leave a comment after this piece!) was rather astonishing. I saw this beautiful Monarch butterfly in the grass, unable to fly but moving. I very gently scooped her up and she climbed onto my chest and kind of snuggled in my neck. Now, mind, I was walking three dogs on leashes so the whole operation was rather awkward and I felt something like the Three Stooges trying to walk one big dog, 2 peanut sized dogs, and very, oh so very gently, carry the butterfly home to safety. I had no clue what I would do with her when we got home but I wasn't going to leave her there to be stepped on, crushed, or damaged any more than she already was, and it was fast getting dark so I really couldn't see just what shape she was in.

Some, perhaps many will say that I should have let nature take it's course and let her die out there, but I just couldn't. I could not let such beauty die alone...

You could turn this way,
I'm also lonely

this autumn evening.

~ Basho ~

She fluttered to the ground a few times and lie there, unable to get about, so I gently picked her up again and cupped my hand around her, trying not to touch her delicate wings, meanwhile carrying on with our nightly walkabout so all three dogs could do their business! It was a good walk back but we made it. All of us.

I sat down in the chair and gently let this gorgeous Monarch sit on my chest to see what she would do. For the next hour she walked all over me, as if I had the most fascinating head and neck that perhaps existed on the planet. I was so shocked I was afraid to move or breathe. I just kept taking lots of pictures while trying to sit as still as possible, but I was giggling when she was walking around on my neck because it tickled. Yes, you can feel the wee little butterfly feet walking around on you!

Meanwhile I called a friend who raises moths to see if she knew what I should do. She didn't. Whole different ballgame apparently. I searched and searched online and found out the kind of things they like and dashed outside picking flowers from the garden and even milkweed which one site said they like. I put a large glass jar on it's side and loosely lay the flowers and stems and leaves in so she could move around on them and hopefully eat. It was one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen and she was doing quite well.

It's funny, you almost take Monarch butterflies for granted because, at least around here, while I am always struck by their beauty, they are more common than others, but to really see one close up, to experience the life inside the butterfly walking about on the outside of you is simply a miracle and I felt touched by grace. Here's the funny thing. This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me.

A couple of years ago I opened my back door onto my patio garden and in flew a dragonfly. My last name, Libellule, is dragonfly in French, the dragonfly is my totem animal, and my business and home are all called Dragonfly Cottage and had been for years before the visitation from the dragonfly. He was brilliant and beautiful, a shimmering gold. And he stayed in here the better part of an hour, just sitting on me and I took quite a number of photos. Then he flew over to the window ledge near the door and I took a few more photos, picked him up gently and let him fly out the door. I was awe struck for some time after that. I had been particulary low in my spirits and a dragonfly of all things to come in at that moment was life-saving in so many ways...

I was delighted to be putting together a little place for her to rest and be safe. Watching her meandering around and about over and under and seem lively gave me hope that perhaps she would do well and maybe, just maybe, lay eggs and I would learn how to keep them safe and what to do so that they might reach chyrsallis stage and become little butterflies I could release and let fly free one day. What a lovely dream that was.

When I got up this morning and she was still ambling about in her jar I just about skipped through the house. This is a picture I took of her in her jar this morning while making coffee...

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the
world, the master calls a butterfly."

~ Richard Bach ~

Sadly, I just checked on her a moment ago. I have stopped and started the writing of this piece a number of times today and as I sat down to finish it she still looked perfect but... but... she was awfully still. I picked up the jar and moved it this way and that, jiggled it gently, and finally touching her gingerly, got my answer. She had passed over to the land where butterflies are always free, and flying forever.

I will never forget this magical day. A blessing, a day of grace. I have been touched by a butterfly. I called her Papi, not only because butterfly, in French, is Papillon, but my biological grandmother's maiden name was Papillon. It seems I come from a long line of wing-ed beings. And for a day I was blessed with her presence. I had to share this with all of you...


You're My Butterfly

Your are the most beautiful thing

I've ever seen

You shine just like sunlight rays

On a winter snow

I just had to tell you so
Your eyes sparkle as the stars

Like the moon they glow
Your smile could light the world on fire

Or did you know?

Your minds full of everything

That I want to know

I just had to let you know

I just had to tell you so
Your're my butterfly
Fly high
Fly fly fly

Lyrics/Song - Lenny Kravitz


Nancy C said...

Isn't it wonderful when a wild thing come to you... when I was maybe 5 or 6 I had a butterfly come to light on my hand; I was just sitting in the grass... & yes, their legs do tickle! I was awestruck... it stayed there for a good 5 minutes. Magick indeed! Since then I've had many other butterfly experiences... it's such a gift when something like this happens. You were blessed.

Maitri Libellule said...


Hello Lovie! Yes, it was pure magic! A true miracle, and I shall never forget it. And when I woke up the next day and she was still alive amidst her flowers and whatnot I was just ecstatic. I'm so glad that she at least made it through the night. It gave me hope that she died safely and in peace. I shall feel forever blessed.

Hugs and love to you honey,

Maitri, with a grey parrot on her shoulder! *v*

Star Gardener said...

Oh, Maitri! What a delightful and insightful experience. Thank you, thank you for sharing this precious event.

Butterflies for me are like visits from the numerous friends who dance in Heaven now (after our common thread of ovarian cancer here on planet Earth).

Maitri Libellule said...

Hello Sweetie,

It's so good to see you here. Thank you so much!

And yes, there is something not only magical, not only otherworldly, but for me, it was a visitation from the grandmother I never got to meet, whose real last name (I am French as of course was her side of the family), Papillon, butterfly in French. It was such an intense experience at a time when I'm losing my mother that it felt like a supportive familial connection.

Precious, precious indeed.

Blessings to you dearheart,


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