Wednesday, July 23, 2008

First Sighting

I saw the first monarch butterfly of the season yesterday, in Natalie's garden. This picture was taken last year at the dedication of Natalie's garden we had to commemorate her birthday. We released 24 monarch butterflies, a beautiful symbol of her short, but oh so sweet life. (She would have been 24 months old.)

I was feeling particularly sad this morning. After taking Roslyn to "summer camp," I decided to have a quiet cup of tea in Natalie's garden. As I sat there admiring the beauty of the garden and thinking about everything from how much I miss her to wondering if I planted the hydrangea too close to the Japanese maple, I was visited by a spectacular yellow and black butterfly, the kind with the pointy tips on the end of its wings. I'd never seen one like it in our yard before. It was very interested in the light purple butterfly bush (the same one in the picture), and returned many times to the blossom closest to where I was sitting, about two feet away.

I often wonder if this is, in some small way, a sign from my sweet Natalie. I like to think it is her way of letting me know she's ok, that she's still here with me. But then, my practical, rational side kicks in and I think, "that's just crazy." I have conversations back and forth with myself about it. If it gives me comfort to think it's a sign from her, it's ok. I am ever mindful to "pay attention." But really, it's just a butterfly. It's not Natalie. But who's to say it isn't? And so on it goes.

In any case, watching the silent flutter of its delicate wings and its graceful flight as it searched for the best landing spot on the bush, a peace and calm came over me, and I felt better. So, at the risk of sounding crazy, I would like to thank the universe for this gift today. I am grateful.

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