My son was riding his bike and insisted that I come and see the butterfly on the road. My first instinct was to avoid it– for any butterfly so long landed was surely dead. I finally went over and was captivated by the beauty of this fallen creature. So still and so fragile. She was so stuck that she could not be moved without fragmenting.
Such a different image awaited us the next morning when we emerged from the house. My daughter was on the driveway and noticed that there were dozens of caterpillars all over the concrete and yard. We both spied some falling from trees. It felt like we were being overrun (by what I later discovered are oakworms?). They seemed to be a part of some big transition. They inched around all over the walkways until they found their way into the earth. What was it about this day that called these critters forth into their next stage? Mating? Life cycles of death and new life crawling.
In the evening, we saw the familiar doe and her two fauns–this time not across the green, but right outside our window. While it did distract us from our dinner, I couldn’t resist watching the deer munching their supper. So often I feel in concert with this mama shepherding her two young ones. How the kids have grown in these months!
All the time life is unfolding. Sometimes we have a front row seat. And despite the ongoing fatigue and uncertainty, I give thanks for this up close season with my family. Don’t get me wrong, often it feels like I am flailing. But nature seems to minister to us when we don’t even know we need it. I received news that my best friend has had her baby and my heart leaps. And the sadness only comes as I know it will be so long before I get to hold this dear boy.
And I ache for all those in the virus’ path. My heart is heavy for those within my community who are most weighed down by loneliness, lack of social supports, as well as addiction and/or depression. I think of the butterfly and her fragile wings. I pray this evening that many I know may have the strength yet to rest and rise. May they remember the love flowing. May they experience it up close as we all inch into transitions.
Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland