One summer when I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7 years old, my mother bought me a butterfly net to keep me busy and out of the house. It was a wise decision. I spent hours running across our lawn chasing beautiful monarch butterflies, wildly swinging my net and gratefully never catching anything. Then I would collapse on the soft grass and look up at the sky.

Many decades later on a walk around my neighborhood, a monarch butterfly floated by, landing on a lovely yellow flower. I no longer chase butterflies, but they always make me stop and smile.

When I was young I did not understand how hard butterflies had to fight to break free of their cocoons.  I did not understand that this struggle to break free built their strength, and it was this struggle that saved them.

In spite of these harsh beginnings, I’ve never seen a butterfly moaning about how hard things were!  Instead, watching them always brings a sense of joy and lightness and wonder. 

My recent butterfly sighting reminded me to honor the struggles that saved me and gave me the strength to find my way to this new life. 

It reminded me to see the possibilities of my future and find joy in my journey. These possibilities cannot be captured by wildly swinging a net. They can only be discovered when we  let our dreams and our imaginations float free and show us the way.

Photo by Chris Keats on Unsplash


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