I went on an outing with the community garden club awhile back. Among other things, we went to a natural history museum to visit a butterfly rainforest. It was sensational. The rainforest consisted of a room about the size of a fairly large movie theater. It was filled with beautiful, lush, colorful plants. There were butterfly feeding stations sprinkled throughout the room. Innumerable wisps of gorgeous butterfly bits flitted randomly around the space- color and grace gone wild. The museum’s butterfly whisperer gave a short educational presentation and released a newborn batch of flutterby beauty while we watched.
One of the first things I noticed about the butterfly rainforest was that the air was weighty with delight. Despite the fact that there were a sizable number of visitors in the area, the butterfly rainforest felt peaceful and mesmerizing. Everywhere you looked, there was something gorgeous and enchanting to see. I think butterflies must have some special endorphin that they secrete into the atmosphere because all the visitors stood around with huge, unrestrained grins on their faces. Those butterflies generated joy. Every now and then, a butterfly would light on a visitor. It happened to me once. It was kind of awe-inspiring…. as if the butterfly was God touching me with a tiny glimpse of the miraculous.
As we looked around the rainforest, my friends and I talked about the different butterflies and which ones we liked the best. Initially, all of us settled on a species of large, electric blue butterfly that almost glittered in its flight. The color was so eye-catching and fantastical. As we spent more time in the butterfly sanctuary, though, we started noticing other beautiful specimens. I changed my mind about which I thought was most beautiful. There was one species that was smaller in size and pure white in color. When I looked closely at the wings, I saw that they showcased an intricate, delicate white-on-white pattern. The pattern on the wings looked like the most exquisite handmade artisan lace. But you had to look closely to see it.
Exploring further, we noticed a large species of butterfly with brown wings resting on a plant. Again, looking closely at the wings, we saw a pattern of swirls and dots and curlicues in shades of brown. The wings looked like soft, suedey hand-tooled leather. Again, beautiful craftsmanship, but not necessarily flashy and eye-catching. Then, the brown butterfly spread its wings and took off in flight. We discovered that this “brown” butterfly was actually one of the striking electric blue butterflies. When at rest, with wings folded up, the butterfly appeared to be brown. When the butterfly opened up and showed the other side of its wings, it revealed a spectacular, sparkling surprise.
So here’s what I learned from my day with the flutterbies:
1. The beauty of butterflies can touch you and give you a sense of God’s miraculousness.
2. Sometimes, butterfly beauty is more than flashiness and you have to look closely to find it.
3. No matter what you see on the outside of a butterfly, there may be another whole layer of beauty on the inside.
I guess butterflies are a lot like people.
Have you ever been to a butterfly rainforest? Did you see any similarities between butterflies and people? Please tell us what you learned! Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a fluttery day!