Riding with butterflies

For a brief moment the butterfly flew alongside us as we rode our bikes along the edge of the lake. I was with a friend and so instead of looking forward I was turning towards her as we chatted. Right behind her a red butterfly flew as if it was with us. A brief moment in time before it flitted off towards the water.

I have seen birds fly alongside cars before and this had a similar feeling. It felt like we were flying with the butterfly. It felt like a magical race and as if the butterfly was of more substance than just a fragile set of wings and a transformed body. Maybe that’s what life feels like right now. Fragile wings, transformational flying time and something of substance within the core of who I am. The continued transformation resides in the flying. Alongside another, diverting off course, gently resting and camouflaging into what ever area I find myself in. Sometimes the wings are open in all their splendour and sometimes they remain closed in the need of some inside navigation.

A couple of weeks ago I took the picture used for this blog. The arrow covered in butterflies is a gentle reminder that there are many living butterflies in my story and they are all pointing in the same direction. A sacred future. There have been many moments of transformation that feel so part of me, they have fragile wings but are so very beautiful. They have substance at their core but each transformation has required something far greater than I could ever have imagined.

For a couple of years I remember how many dead butterflies I would find. Wings in parking lots or in desert spaces in Israel, a fully formed dead butterfly on the ground in Shanghai, large wings inside manmade arboretums designed to house exotic species, they were everywhere. Then, earlier this year I spent some time at a Convent in West Sussex, England, and during a guided prayer session I had this picture of standing in a field with my arms out and butterflies flying out of my palms. It was such a picture of hope and joy, full of colour and movement and life.

And so the seasons continue. I always notice the butterfly, I would like to think it notices me too. That learning that the new has come and the old has passed away can be a tangible experience. When we turn to speak to a friend on a bike ride or we walk to our local coffee shop and see two white butterflies dancing in the air. I wonder how I might start looking into the mirror of memory in a different way. I wonder how the butterflies, dead, alive or in formation might start telling a different story.

What do you notice? What always catches your eye and has the potential for you to look backwards to be propelled forwards? What butterflies are you riding with today?