Friday, July 27, 2007

Sunshine Delirium

For the first time in what seemed like months, the rain not only stopped but the sun broke through the clouds and shone brightly to the marshy ground below. The flowers stopped cowering, the birds scoured the earth for worms and the butterflies were out in full. However, something still didn't feel right as I walked. Even as the sun warmed my back, something in my soul felt cold.

"It was not your fault, you know," the all knowing voice whispered as the tiny feet pranced across my ear. "Wallowing will get you no where."

"I could have saved him," I said hollowly, thinking of the tiny bat lying broken and shivering on the sidewalk. "If they hadn't made me put him back outside, I could have helped him."

"He was dying," the butterfly said in a matter-of-fact tone. "He was ill, and dying. Nothing could have saved him. At least he was cared for and warm in his last moments."

"That seems so cruel," I said, shaking my head at the injustice of it all. "It shouldn't have to be that way. He should have been saved."

"Nature isn't always nice," the butterfly said wisely, tiptoeing across the back of my neck and clinging to my ponytail. "Nor our humans. You also saw proof of that this week."

"But why?" I whined defensively, wishing I could shake the metal fence I walked by. Perhaps shaking it would shake free this sense of injustice and anger.

"People are born either good or bad," the butterfly said wisely. "For the most part, they will stay either good or bad. However, free will damages many of the good and turns them into bad. They are seduced by power or greed, or trapped by insecurity and fear. Being human, they act out in ways which spread the cruelty to others, continuing the cycle."

"I just don't understand how people can be so cruel," I whispered, letting the butterfly dip it's tiny foot in the tear running down my cheek."I don't understand how people do these horrible things to each other. I mean, what possesses someone to be cruel to another person?"

"People are much like animals in that they do what is taught and instinctual," the tiny creature whispered. "If someone is mean to them, they will be mean to others. It takes a strong person to resist the pull of anger, cruelty and power. That's why the good things in life are so important."

"It just seems sometimes that you spend your whole life fighting," I said tiredly. "For once, I'd just like to get something done without fighting."

"To not fight is to not live," the butterfly paused on my hand. "You must fight for what you love and care for, what you want. It is part of nature."

"That doesn't mean it's fair," I scowled, thinking of the tiny sick bat.

"Not immediately," the butterfly agreed. "But those who are cruel to others will receive the same treatment in return. Karma is alive and well."

"It just seems very frustrating and exhausting," I said, letting the sun warm my back.

"You can get as frustrated as you want," the butterfly said. "The important thing is to dwell on the good in life. Think of the happiness you have with Ben, with your friends, your passion for writing. Think of all the dogs you want to help, all the people you aid. You write stories for fundraisers for horrible diseases, about teenage girls with cancer and about companies working on cures for cancer. While you may just be typing words on paper, you're giving someone a fighting chance. You're educating the public about the good in the world. And when people see good, they want to do good."

"That's the thing," the butterfly continued, pausing on my outstretched fingertip. "To be depressed and sad is to give into evil. By focusing on happiness and positivity, we can defeat it. Life is what you make of it, so you might as well make it a happy one."

The butterfly gently flew and landed on my nose. As faint as an eyelash falling, the butterfly gently kissed my nose.

"Kind souls will always be surrounded by good," the butterfly said so softly my ears strained to here. "You just may have to learn to ignore the shadows around it. Everyone told you to ignore the bat--and you still fought to save it. He knows that. And trust me, he appreciates it. Don't worry--your time of thanks will come."

With that, the butterfly flew away into the lush green field, disappearing. As I walked back to the office, I felt my face grow warm as the sun beat down on my black t-shirt. This time, however, my soul was not just warm. It was glowing.