Posts Tagged With: Butterfly

 
 

My Social Butterfly

I have a social butterfly for a mother. She loves to flit about just like a butterfly from flower to flower saying hello to everyone she can. Sitting on her front porch she’ll holler out a hello and start up a conversation with anyone who walks by. Church is her particularly favorite flower garden of people to visit.

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Photo By Charles J Sharp – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27354026

A few years ago, a young family with itsy bitsy children befriended her. The baby would hug her and want to be held, the other kids would give her a sweet hug. Since most of her grandkids live a fair distance away, this was extra special to her. Sort of  like substitute grandkids. As those bitty kids grew older they got somewhat shy about hugs. As a result what used to be hugs between them morphed into fist bumps. I suppose it felt a bit less awkward for the kids. Either way, Mom still felt acknowledged and loved by this small gesture from these not so small people.

Those fist bumps evolved. She’d wander the halls after church looking for those once little kids and fist bump them, along with pretty much anyone else who would catch her eye. It’s  been quite a sight to see this frail silver-haired lady fist bumping teenagers and grownups and tiny tots. I tell ya, it totally makes her week.

Mom started chemotherapy about a month ago to treat stage four C word. Dad just wants to keep her home, sheltered from the germs of the world, which is wise, since her immune system is shot to heck. But for a social butterfly, isolation is basically worse than death. So they still go to church, unless she’s feeling under the weather. The happy thing about this fist bump habit she’d already acquired is that she can still greet people with her own brand of love. There’s fewer germs on the back of a hand than on the palm which a traditional handshake carries.  Her fist bumps allows her to say hello, feel connected, and give or get love with less risk.

She doesn’t have much energy to wander the halls after church now, but plenty of people come by her pew, make eye contact and get a fist bump from her. When they ask how she’s doing, she answers, “As good as can be expected!” That’s an honest answer to an genuine inquiry. I find it an interesting turn of events that the flowers now come visit this sweet butterfly.

I don’t know how much longer the world gets to enjoy this particular stunning butterfly, Hopefully it’s a gentle flight filled with all the flowers of family and friends. She’s surely brought plenty of that to people as she’s flitted into and out of their lives. Mine has been particularly blessed by her vibrant wings of love.

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Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.

Jeffrey Glassberg

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Categories: Cancer, Family, Gardening, Hope, Love, mother, mothers, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Hills Are Alive

It’s Gratituesday! I’m thankful for sweet surprises out in the natural world this past week.

Two mornings in a row I encountered an elk herd grazing near my campsite. Majestic, serene, bigger than life, these animals seem unruffled by humans and all their noise. They tolerate our presence. They look on in what I imagine is amusement at all our accoutrements and fluff and necessary survival gear. Meanwhile they wander the forest finding what they need, surrounded by family.

The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) ...

Myriad numbers of squirrels crossed my path. Big fat ones, the size of cats! I’m afraid they might be getting too many munchies from the human side of the food chain, i.e., green apple flavored hard candy, (lick, lick, lick, lick, lick…) tootsie rolls, “cheese” covered corn chips, hot dogs, marshmallows, chocolate, taffy. Can you just picture their little food storage dens loaded with acorns, random candy and assorted junk food? They probably get through the winter on their body fat alone. Cute little critters though. I credit them with keeping the forest clean, the little foragers seem to love it all.

I also witnessed a variety of lizards, large and small, striped and plain, tailed and tail-less.

Butterflies visited a damp spot nearby every morning. I’m not talking your average run-of-the-mill monarch, although they are stunning. No, there were nickel-sized periwinkle blue fluttering songlets, yes, songlets. Their wings beat in a rhythm I couldn’t match and they flitted about like notes on a page, tones on a scale. Breathtaking. And the yellow butterflies were flower-petaled in their grace and color, elegant fliers with direction and purpose and no hurry to them at all. One morning a wasp or hornet of a variety I’d never seen before stopped by the butterfly watering spot. The stinger on that yellow and black sleek body was three inches long or more. Maybe it wasn’t a stinger, maybe it was a feeler, an antennae. I didn’t stick around to find out. Looked fierce enough to give it a wide path.

Pointleaf Manzanita blooming in the Mazatzal W...

Did I mention the wildflowers? I need to learn their names. A snapdragon-like cluster of three-foot stems with pale blue curling petals lined our hiking path several times. And always there were ground-hugging miniature purple throw rugs of flowers. Bright yellow mini-daisies jumped out in surprising places. Even the Manzanita trees had blossoms on them, highlighting the deep brownish red of their bark. Fresh needles, soft to the touch and new-green, tipped the branches of every pine tree. There’s no air-freshener in the world that matches that scent!

Luckily nature didn’t provide too many snakes, bugs, spiders or stinging or poisonous plants. I got lucky that way. Sure there were a couple of blisters, a cold night or two, some scorching days, but all the beauties that nature provides makes time out in the mountains a cornucopia of things to be thankful for.

If it’s been a while since you’ve experienced the joys of the mountains, maybe you can enjoy Julie Andrews singing about that particular joy. If you listen closely at the beginning you can hear birds in the background. Nice touch.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday, Nature, Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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