To a Butterfly
I've watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
And, little Butterfly! Indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless! - not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
I awoke this morning with butterflies in my stomach and the irony of that was not lost on me. Today dawned with bright sunshine and clear skies. If I were traveling anywhere by plane today, I would say it's a great day for flying. When I went into the dining room to do pre-flight preparations for Little Miss Monarch, she was sipping from the oranges. It's as if she too knew what lay ahead of her. And indeed she does. God made her that way.
While I waited for her to finish her meal, I put the memory card into the camera and got my shoes on. I checked the temperature outside: 53°. Breezes of 9 MPH seemed ideal. The forecast for the coming week couldn't be better, with Indian Summer weather upon us.
Not wanting to waste a precious moment of potential flying time, I put my finger out and Little Miss Monarch crawled on board. We went out the front door and walked over to the south side of the house where the sun was shining and the mums were still in bloom. I gave her a little kiss for luck, let her down to the yellow ones, and she crawled out onto them.
I wondered if she would take right off, but she slowly opened and closed her wings, perhaps testing the air.
While I wanted to stay right there and watch to see her as she took flight, she didn't seem anxious to be on her way, so I went back into the house, where I peeked out the window at her every ten minutes or so. The third time I looked, she was gone.
I have mixed feelings as I think about her and what might be her fate in the coming days and weeks. My hope is that she knows the urgency of her mission and will put as many miles behind her in the first days of her flight as possible. But she is part of a larger plan that neither of us has much control over. Still, I can't help but think that my deciding to bring her in nearly a month ago set in motion that larger plan and all has gone just the way it was supposed to - for this Monarch.
We've had below freezing temperatures for many nights since that time and even some frozen precipitation mixed in with rain just a couple of days after she emerged. She was snug and warm inside and we were able to keep her safe and fed until better flying days came along. Now with nearly a week of unseasonably warm weather before us, she has the best chance of fulfilling her life's purpose.
Be safe and live well, Little Miss Monarch. Thank you for letting us be a part of the miracle you are.
To read about Little Miss Monarch's journey from caterpillar to butterfly, see the following posts:
- The Last Monarch 10-23-08
- Little Miss Monarch 10-23-08
- Monarch Update 10-24-08
- What's the Status of Little Miss Monarch? 10-27-08
- She's Sipping! 10-29-08