Sure, I was an English major in college. Sure, I write fiction and read a few books a week. It’s not hard for me to see symbols and metaphors and allegories in the text before me. But in the real world? Sometimes I’m a little too skeptical and pessimistic about the mystical quality of the universe.
Most of the time.
Then I have experiences like my lost-and-found engagement diamond, where you have to wonder if finding the small stone in a house full of floor cracks and crevices was more than luck.
Other things are more subtle, less dramatic or laden with emotional weight. A few weeks ago, a package came in the mail for Mitzi — six tiny caterpillars that we got so our budding scientist could watch them morph into butterflies some day. And they did their thing, finally housed in dangling chrysalides, which we transferred to the butterfly house. And we waited.
The first two butterflies emerged last Saturday, shortly after we’d finished coloring our Easter eggs. We were thrilled, not only by the actual happening, but the timing. What could be more special than new life on Easter?
But they weren’t through. By the next morning, Easter Sunday, another three had found their way out. We marveled and ooh-ed and aah-ed and hustled out the door for the rest of the day. Number six was still hanging, and I was a little worried. Mitzi would be very sad if something went wrong. Which of course, it didn’t, and as I was sitting at my computer that night, catching up on emails and Facebook status updates, I heard a crackling coming from the window sill where the mesh container sat.
Butterfly number six had broken free, wings wet and useless, clinging to the shell that helped it change so drastically, resting, waiting to fly.
I know that six painted lady butterflies, with their 3-week life span, are not going to make a difference to the big, wide world. But in our little universe, in our little family, those six butterflies, rebirthed on Easter, have reminded us that change is always possible, that new beginnings can happen any time, and this is just the season to get started.