A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Birdsong and Butterflies

What a morning!

My son took the dog in with him last night, which gave me a morning without sunrise visits to the lawn.  I don't mind them, really.  I had one yesterday.

Not too shabby a way to start my day.
But today was special.  Quiet here.  I had been wakeful during the night (some good stuff growing to pleasure in) so had a hard time waking up to the alarm.  Don't usually mind waking up to Jim Brickman's "Harvest" but this morning Jim got snoozed.  When I did finally wake up enough to take a look around, I noticed that the monarch crysalis that has been hanging on one of my candle holders (a rescue from the bottom of the big bowl I usually raise the butterflies in) was black.
This is exciting!  I got closer to take a good look and indeed I could see orange and black wings tucked in there.  In fact, when I looked closer, I realized the shape of the crysalis had changed, too.
I've hatched dozens of butterflies over the last few years, but have never actually seen one emerge from its crysalis.  I set up my camera, and tucked in to witness one of the Universe's miracles.
There is a fairy garden outside my window.  Over the two hours that it took this Monarch to emerge the garden was visited by a family of goldfinches, still in breeding plumage.  The bright yellow papa bird perched on the tall shoots of "Cecile Bruner. " I wished I had an extra camera to snap his portrait, bouncing the sunlight off his matching chest against today's bright blue sky.  Next I watched a small "flock" (four birds) of mourning doves land in the tree on the back property line.  Occasionally they will visit the fairy garden to see if the goldfinches have dropped any seed on the ground, but today I was happy to enjoy watching them climb along the tree branches.  A hummingbird flew through, stopping long enough to nag me through the window screen to refill her feeder, and a scruffy young mockingbird stopped for a few seconds on the top of the passion vine trellis to see what all the excitement was about.
The Monarch did finally break out of her shelter, but it wasn't as I had always imagined.  I thought it would be a bursting out, but instead it was a slow, gradual ripping.  I noticed the first holes a good hour before she actually, finally split the shell in several places and rolled out.  I left the camera to record until the battery gave out. 
I rarely have quiet times like this, when I force myself to be still.  It gave me time to reflect back and to see how different I am now than I was just three years ago.  Three years ago I frequently woke in tears, asking myself "What the hell happened to my life?"  It has been almost exactly three years since the first domino was toppled and I landed - with help - to toddle along a new path.  Three years.  A stack of books a yard high.  New friends to love.  And to love me.  Such a gift these years have been.
It's time to release him.  He has about three weeks to make his life as good as it can be.  How lucky we are to have years to accomplish the same.  Three years, and I am very different.  My life, though it seems the same from the outside, has completely changed for me on the inside.  If there are tears in the morning now, they are tears of gratitude for what I have been given.
All morning a melody was floating through my mind.  I finally recognized it from a summer drama production my brother played drums in while in high school.
Who will buy
This wonderful morning?
Such a sky
You never did see!
Who will tie
It up with a ribbon
And put it in a box for me?
So I could see it at my leisure
Whenever things go wrong
And I would keep it as a treasure
To last my whole life long.
Who will buy
This wonderful feeling?
I'm so high
I swear I could fly.
Me, oh my!
I don't want to lose it
So what am I to do
To keep the sky so blue?
There must be someone who will buy...

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