Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Butterfly, oh butterfly

In The Pond, there has been a butterfly explosion over the past few weeks. The butterfly population has reached over a million, because one of it's natural predators died out during the drought. For days, all you could see was butterflies everywhere. Thousands of them flew around your car, helping you reach the gym safely. They danced in the gardens and flew leisurely around houses. Then they slowly retired into the trees.

They're back.

Today I watched the butterflies flitter around in the garden as I ate my breakfast. While watering the yard, several swirled around my feet as if I was a ride at an amusement park. They played games, seeing how close they could get to the water. My parents came down to help prepare my sister for college. My mother stood in delight as ten butterflies danced around her head, one landing gently on her hair. She giggled in appreciation as they floated softly away.

As I sat in my office, writing and working, I was distracted by them. They floated by the window, sometimes twenty at a time. It was a steady stream of fluttering colors: orange, yellow, grey and brown. I tried to catpure them with a camera, but they were too smart for that. They just floated by unconcerned, spacing out so one frame wouldn't capture them.

"You see", they seemed to say, "We can not be captured on film, but only in memories. We're like a beam of sunshine, a breath of fresh air. We do not belong on film."

They made it up to me, those butterflies of mine.

I went out to get the mail, and thirty swarmed around me. They twirled and fluttered their way to the mail box, dashing around my legs and settling on my arms. They hovered cautiously over the metal box, peering down to see the latest junk mail. They flowed around me as we walked back, swinging through trees and small flowers along the way. I was the Butterfly Queen, and they were my subjects. They kissed the flowers as if to nourish them, and returned to settle lightly on my head. They clung to blond wisps of hair until we reached the front door. Satisfied, they returned to the current, flying by my window to make sure I made it inside safely. A few settled on the ledge to rest.

It was almost as if I was a prettier version of Pigpen. Instead of dirt and flies floating around me, I had butterflies. I was the Butterfly Queen for the day. Hopefully, the Pond won't get horribly cold and kill them all off. I'm enjoying my new role.