Friday, April 6, 2012

A Butterfly in My Coat!

Day 79
The Daily DuBrule

Wednesday I was working from home in the morning, designing gardens and preparing estimates. It was a gorgeous day and it was hard to stay inside. "Nose to the grindstone, girl" was what I kept telling myself. You can go out in the gardens this afternoon as you have many consults to do, miles to go before you sleep. 

Around noon, I was ready to head out. I took my coat off the rack and a butterfly fell to the floor. "Oh my God, it's a dead, completely preserved butterfly." I knelt down to pick it up and its wings moved. It was alive! What is a butterfly doing here, in my house, in early April? 

I thought back to my morning. This weekend is Easter, April 8th. My mother died on Easter, April 8th, 5 years ago. I was thinking about her and my father, who passed last July, and the upcoming Easter weekend, my first without either of my parents. In fact, I had looked at all the digital pictures in my file of previous Easter Sundays for about 15 minutes in the morning, nostalgia winning over "nose to the grindstone" for a bit. 

I carefully picked up my butterfly and gently carried it outside, placing it on a Viola basket on my back deck. It started moving its wings, basking in the sun, warming up, getting used to the Middletown air I suppose. I went back in, shaking my head in wonder, and gathered my bags to leave. As I locked the back door I decided this was just too precious to ignore so I grabbed my camera and took some pictures.

Why did this butterfly move me so? I have many friends who are Hospice nurses. I have known for years that butterflies are a very powerful symbol in Hospice. They symbolize the transformation from one form of life to the next. It is believed by many cultures that butterflies represent the soul of a person that has past. For examples, the Greek word for butterfly means soul. The Japanese believe that a butterfly is a person's soul. They also believe that "one should treat a butterfly that enters the home kindly, as the soul of a loved relative or friend might reside in the butterfly and has come to visit them."

Meaning of a Butterfly That Enters the Home |

Having known this butterfly symbolism for decades, I couldn't help but imagine that my reminiscing about my parents had something to do with this butterfly's appearance in my home. Today I was telling this story to a client who had recently lost her father and has welcomed her mother into her home to live. She was deeply touched. As we finished our conversation, a yellow sulphur butterfly swooped in between us.  We both were amazed. What a lovely gift for such a special weekend.

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