Sunday, August 22, 2010

Flights of Magic

This morning we got ready to take a walk with the dogs, I walked by my flowers that are planted along the edge of the garden. The sunflowers are gone, but the Zinnias are just showing out! It seems their colors just get more vivid with the heat. As I walked by admiring their shapes and colors, this butterfly followed me. It was a teasing flutter dance, she would light on a flower, and just as I was about to take the picture, she would flit to the next one. Finally, just as I was about to give up, she spread her wings and posed for this shot, wow!

It seems there have been more butterflies than ever this summer. Everyday I see them in this exquisite ballet as they go from flower to flower. One morning I counted eleven dancing among the flowers. I felt as though I had been privy to a special meeting as they sipped nectar from the flowers.

Butterflies have always been fascinating for me, but they became even more so because of a chance meeting I had several years ago. Rick and I had taken out niece Samantha to California.
It had been a wonderful trip, but we were exhausted and it is an all day gig from San Francisco to Birmingham. As we boarded the plane, Rick had a seat behind Sam and I, so Sam and I settled into our seats, waiting to see who would share our row. A neatly dressed woman in her
late sixties, maybe early seventies sat down beside me. The plane took off and we began our long flight home. Sam had already discussed with me how flying "just sucks the beauty right out of you", so she had decided to take a nap.
The woman beside me began to talk, asking about Sam, where we had been. At that time, my mom was in the early stages of her illness and the woman and I spoke of the tragedy of dementia.
She began to tell me, about her work. She wrote, she was a missionary, and a motivational speaker and college professor. Her husband had died just a few years before and she had donated a labyrinth to be built as a memorial to him at the college where she worked. We talked about the incredible power of walking a labyrinth, and then she asked if I had ever used a pendulum.

I told her no, that I was very interested in them, she then took this beautiful pendulum out of her purse and showed it to me. Then she began to teach me how to use it, and told me the story of this particular pendulum. This pendulum was a copper penny, and in the center of it, the outline of a butterfly had been cut. It seems that before her husband died, he had told her she would not be alone, that the butterflies would comfort her. She said , when the labyrinth was completed and the day the dedication was made, butterflies were everywhere, lighting on her shoulders and all around. The pendulum she showed me, was one her husband had made for her. Well, by this time I was in tears, and the rest of the flight was one of the most spiritual
events I have ever had. When the plane landed in Kentucky( we had a layover there) she got off, but before she left, she held my hand and placed in it, the butterfly pendulum.
Now, each time I see a butterfly, I think of her and hope that she and her husband visit my flowers. The world is full of possibilities, of opportunities, of miracles, every day..........we just have to be open to them. What if I had closed my eyes when she began her conversation, what if I had chosen not to talk with her. I would have missed the flight of a lifetime. How many of those moments, those flights have we all missed? I am so grateful that she sat by me on the plane, that she shared such an intimate part of her life with me. Rick gets a little crazy sometimes, because no matter where we go, anywhere in the world. ......I see someone I know, or someone shares their life with me. It's ok, what ever the reason, I have been blessed by some of the most wonderful people in the world. My life is rich and full because of those chance meetings and I wouldn't have it any other way. So tonight, my friends, I wish you all flights of magic,
those chance meetings with those who change your life!


  1. Jilda, I'm so glad you posted this about the butterflies. It intrigues me that you saw one the day that I posted the pictures of the ones in our yard. I was thinking about the one that you and I tried so hard to get the picture of in Telluride. They are such magnificent creatures.