Monday, November 23, 2009

Miracles Do Happen

And I witnessed a very sweet one this morning. Just last night I wrote a blog "Life Goes On" with a bit of a heavy heart. After weeks of watching, photographing and hoping to witness the miracle of not so much "new life" but more of a "Reborn life"... I had given up, lost hope, decided to move on and put the disappointment behind me. When I photographed the butterfly releasing her eggs on the milkweed plant in early October, I wasn't trying to capture anything special...I just thought she was pretty and I wanted a picture of her with wings open. As I looked through the lens...I noticed that she had a pretty good size hole in her wing. She wasn't perfect...what is? In my eyes she was very beautiful and she brought something special to my day.

I have always been fascinated... AMAZED even by nature...but this whole process had me completely captivated. I went outside daily to photograph the caterpillars, and then the Chrysalis. I looked forward to blogging about this....but waited patiently until I could capture the new butterflies busting out of their cocoons and taking flight....heading off on their long journey to Mexico. My heart sank when that first cold snap hit...and again and again with each one that followed. But, I continued to watch and hope. But as some of them began to crack... I could see that they were dying before they even had a chance to change. Normally they are only in their Chrysalis phase for about 10 had now been well over a month. I read that the fourth generation butterflies happen between September and October. We are now nearing the end of November. I quit watching a few days ago...I just gave up. I felt frustrated and that there was no longer any reason to hope. So last night I decided to go ahead and write the just wouldn't have a happy ending.

Such is life.

This morning as I checked my e-mail and sipped on my coffee...I noticed that my cat was looking out the back door. She had the look that she gets when she see's a bird on the porch. My daughter came over to have a look at whatever was on the porch...sure was a bird. She said..."mom, its a bird and it is eating a butterfly" I asked her what kind of butterfly...and she said "Monarch". Honestly...I didn't pay it much attention...because in my mind the Monarch Butterflies were gone. A little later we went outside and I realized that my daughter was had been a Monarch butterfly that the bird was eating. I found the empty cocoon and what the bird had left.

Another disappointment. One had actually made it through the cold... and more than a month inside it's cocoon and not only had I missed would never take flight. So we're looking around the milkweed plant and I notice another empty cocoon!

and just as I told my daughter what I had found she shouted "LOOK MOM!" And there he was at the very tip top of the milkweed plant...drying and pumping life into his wings. I stayed outside for a long time and watched until he flew away. Very gratifying.

I realize that some may not view this as a miracle...but I do...and I also believe that I was destined to witness every detail of it. I feel that God found a way to make me pay attention so he could speak to my heart. I listen...but I don't always hear. I suppose like everyone else...I take in what I want or need to hear and block out what is uncomfortable. I have been going through many changes over the last few years. I had a total hysterectomy two years about "CHANGE"! I know that doesn't really change who I am...but it does seem like all of my flaws...physically, mentally and spiritually are becoming so much more noticeable. So in a way... I guess feel a little like a butterfly with a hole it is wing. Not all of the changes have to do with me individually. My children are no longer babies...and while I have truly been blessed with four very good is quite different parenting and sometimes uncomfortable dealing with them on a more adult level. My parents...both 79 are changing as well. Many health issues and watching as my mothers memory slips away is sometimes more than my heart can bear. Life is constantly has always been that way and I have always embraced what each new day brings. In the last few years however... I have begun to view change as almost too painful accept.

The butterfly had a hole in her wing...but she was not broken and even though she had noticeable flaws .... she still had something precious to give. The Caterpillar remained a chrysalis much longer than it should have. Sometimes the process is long, and it is often painful. Change is what life is made of and is necessary for growth and accomplishment...and whether we choose to accept it or is inevitable.

and the message that God put in my heart... though we, life, family, friends will continue to change... never give up...always hope and never let go of your faith. Miracles do happen!

"Change is inevitable, and nothing represents metamorphosis like Butterfly. Within the egg lies a being or thought stirring into life; with birthing, the larva or caterpillar voraciously absorbs all nourishment, thought, and knowledge, manifesting all into the physical; then one “goes within” the chrysalis, allowing inspiration, that connection to oneself and to all there is, to rest and develop; finally the Butterfly emerges and flits and dances from one colorful flower to the next, tasting the sweet nectar's of Life and sharing its gifts with the World.

All of life’s processes take us through these four transformative steps, including conception, birth, growth, and wisdom of old age, but also in our daily thoughts and activities. How easily we change is determined by how thoroughly, creatively, and beautifully we move from one stage to the next." ~ Jan Wright, artist

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." ~Maya Angelou

Learn more about Milkweed.

For more information about Monarch Butterflies...please visit the following websites.


  1. Monica, this really touched my heart today. Thank you. What a beautiful post full of wonderful honesty, reflection and symbolism. You are truly a butterfly and I send you hugs as you embrace all the different changes you and your family are going through.

  2. Thanks Tricia....sometimes I would really just love to turn back the hands of time and make these children little again, make myself feel young again...but I guess if I did that then I would miss out on what is yet to be.