the gift of the mariposa
Thursday July 12... this little one has been with me for over four hours now, after i picked it up from where it was crawling around on the patio, unable to fly. every time i set it down anywhere besides my hand or shoulder, it flaps around a lot. but when it's sitting with me, it calms down. i thought about (and even researched) trying to fix its wings, but that felt really invasive. so, i've been feeding it a little sweet water from time to time. i don't know how long it will live- it's gotten steadily quieter since i found it. waves of emotion flow through me- sadness that it was hurt, joy that it’s here, and curiosity about its process. mostly, i'm content to have this precious being as a companion for the day and care for it as best i can.
Saturday morning... a little butterly update... she (he, it, they?) is still here. i feel like i’ve been adopted by this precious little being, spending hours together each day. it’s pretty cool to tap into butterfly presence.
thought i’d share a little timeline through pics: #1- the broken wing (day 1). #2- the splint we made today from a very small piece of cardstock (as per instructions online)- we decided to wait and see if she was still alive this morning. it seemed a little traumatic for her to glue it on, but she can now fully flap her top wings! (the bottom ones don’t work as well, for some reason). #3- butterly yoga in the Temple. #4 & 5- this morning... her sweet face & chillin on a flower after a nice breakfast of sugar water.
so grateful for this little guru, for however long they are here... re-membering to slow down and pay attention to the small things. sending love to all and bowing deeply to Life.
Sunday afternoon... she's flown away... the sweet little being who allowed me to care for her for three days has left her body and is flying free.
we went out for a few hours, and upon our return i found her body on this flower, resting peacefully. i had a feeling she would not die in my hands. i don't know why. perhaps it was because, as my dear friend/sister Shira pointed out, she may have been Laura (my "big sister" who left her earthly body in February) coming back for a brief visit, and this experience was a reflection of my last days with her.
as i sit here with her lifeless body poised on a sunflower, little feet holding her to the petals, i am present to just how, in so many ways, her presence here was a beautiful reflection of Laura's transition process. but with a significant difference.
with Laura, in step with an old, habitual pattern, i over-extended myself and ended up getting very sick for about a month afterward. i have absolutely no regrets about all that i took on for her and her husband - i did it gladly and with gratitude for the opportunity to be of service in those ways. and, i learned a lot about what i will do differently when more loved ones are at the end of their lives. i also learned that being with others in their dying process feeds my soul in a profound way which surprises me, but feels incredibly natural and aligned.
with the butterfly, we didn't have hospital visits, health care directives or medications. all i did was carry her around on my hand or shoulder, feed her a little every day, and make sure she was as comfortable as i could, given that i had no way of knowing what she needed or wanted- other than my inner listening and observation of her movements. i was able to be present with her almost completely without feeling guilty that i hadn't done enough or engaging my habitual drive to make sure she was cared for at my own expense. there was a harmony and a beautiful flow of self-care which fed my soul deeply. i got to be her death doula.
perhaps this butterfly was here just enough long enough for me to share some sweet moments of care and tenderness. for a deeper reminder to slow down, be right here, and start using my voice again. if it was you, Laura- thank you. i think it worked. my body has been forced to slow down with the furnace-like heat of the foothills summer. i've spent a lot less time on the computer in order to be with Jakob and other wonderful folks who have been visiting. but i've also written more in the last three days about this beautiful little mariposa than i have about anything else for months.
thank you, little one, for bringing such sweetness and beauty into my life these last days. you are a gift i will always treasure.