As I ran, biked, walked, and did chores this week, I noticed many different kinds of butterflies and moths flying within the fields and along the roadsides. All this activity was quite entertaining to the child inside, allowing my mind to both wonder and wander a bit. The colors on some of these delicate creatures varied a great deal. Some were neon yellow, others orange and brown, still others greenish or tan with black or brown spots.
Value in Variety
Though I tried to get pictures of each type, I found the task a bit daunting, for each time I got close enough, the butterfly or moth would flutter and flit away. The little yellow sulphurs were especially quick to disappear from my camera lens. I also saw:
- Viceroys, which look similar to monarchs, but are smaller
- Coppers, adorned with orange wings and dark spots
- Greater fritillaries, cloaked in orange and tan with arrays of spots
- Crescents, with orange-brown wings and mazes of black spots
All the variety in the sizes and colors made me think about how each creature is different, yet has similar traits or characteristics that allow them to relate to each other. These relationships in turn foster growth, understanding, and perspective.
Though we may not always see the value or agree with each other as humans, we can learn from our interactions with others and from our surroundings. We can use what we learn to help ourselves and others with a variety of problems, situations, and events that we encounter within our lives.
Learning by Listening and Observing
The butterflies and moths did not speak words to me, yet I felt a sense of communication with them as I watched them busily move from plant to plant. Like us humans, they seemed to have a lot to do. Each one flitted and fluttered in its own way. Though at times they seemed to be lost in a frenzy, they stopped to feed and rest. Sometimes they rested and fed together, other times they were apart.
As I watched them move about, I thought about how we easily get distracted from what is really important in life. Though each person has his or her own set of priorities, we do have similar basic needs, such as water, food, and shelter.
These basics often draw us together, allowing for communication and interaction. In communicating with others, we learn of the similarities and differences between us. How we respond to these commonalities and differences often dictates the direction of our path through life.
Directions From Afar
I watched the butterflies under some stellar skies full of wispy, feathery clouds. As the clouds moved throughout the day, they seemed to pull me along, gently nudging my mind away from negativity and stress toward more positive thoughts.
At one point, I was feeling rather sad. Looking up, I saw the sunlight playing in the clouds within the blue sky. A sense of calm washed over me, almost as if God had touched my shoulder and said, “It will be alright. I promise.”
The clarity and depth of the blue sky often brings comfort to my soul, especially this time of year. I find myself looking up as I run and bike, drawing energy and direction from the colors and the light. As I move along my route, I am able to clear my mind, gather important thoughts, and breathe in the power of nature’s beauty.
While biking tonight, I started to fret a bit about what to write for this week’s post. My worries melted quickly as I watched the sky and contemplated what I had seen throughout the course of the day and the week. A walk with my dog after my bike ride gave me even more to reflect upon, which led to the words you are reading and to the following poem:
Melody of September
Feathery clouds in the morn
Reflecting the light of the heavens adorned
In a colorful array of hues
Of peach, maize, crimson, and chartreuse,
Yellow, gold, orange, and tangerine,
As the moments unfold in the melody
Of September’s skies and landscapes
Unfolding with time as summer’s days
Come to a close to usher autumn in
Amid nature’s show of magnificence.
As the clouds pass by making swirls in the sky,
The moths and butterflies flutter by,
With their fragile wings whipping the wind
Pressing out and in, out and in
Dancing across the joe-pye weed and goldenrod
To the rhythmic beat playing on
In the melody of September’s days
Brought to thee by God’s grace
And love divine
Sent from above through the skies.
Harvest moon on the rise
Peeking through the last day’s light
Reflected in the pink wispy clouds
That seem to wink as the sun goes down
On the opposite horizon
Waving neon red and crimson
Amid the clear blue sea
Of heaven’s majesty
Conveyed through the melody of September’s sights
As nature swoons and dances with life.
-Lisa A. Wisniewski
May the melody of September allow us to seek and find, learn and teach, grow and share. May the light lead us through the miles along the way, and allow us to see our surroundings and situations from different perspectives.
Resources and Related Links
Copper butterflies – http://www.animalspot.net/american-copper-butterfly.html
Crescent butterflies – http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Phyciodes-tharos
Greater fritillaries – http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/fritillary.shtml
Sulphur butterflies – http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Phoebis-sennae