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Natural Awakenings Fairfield County/Housatonic Valley, CT

Letter From Publisher July 2020

Jun 29, 2020 03:07PM ● By Nicole Miale

A few weeks ago I found a butterfly lying on the ground near my back door, wings intact but obviously weakened and seemingly unable to fly. It clung fiercely to my finger as I carried it over to a crop of pretty purple wildflowers. I gently offered a leaf and, when it climbed on with alacrity, I thought my good deed was done. But I couldn’t stop thinking about that butterfly so I did some research. After a while I checked and the butterfly was exactly where I’d left it, which did not seem right. I inspected its wings; there were no tears to mend, nothing visible to prevent it from flying. I offered my finger; it abandoned the leaf and hopped back to me, but its grip was less firm than before; my sense was that it was weakening. I read they often land on people because the salt on our skin offers needed nutrients. Since it chose me over the leaf, even after I added drops of water to the greenery, I thought it must be starving. I dissolved some sugar in warm water and soaked a piece of reusable dish cloth, which I held next to my finger where the butterfly was still perched, unmoving.

What happened next was magical... the previously motionless butterfly suddenly hustled itself over my finger so all its legs could rest on the square of dishcloth. Its antennas started vibrating, first slowly then with rapid force. Its wings, until now folded and barely fluttering, began to flex and flutter with small then larger, more purposeful movements. It stayed on the square for maybe 30 seconds, then moved back to my finger, then moved so half its body was on one and half the other. Its antenna and wings started vibrating so fast I feared I had given it a sugar shock, then suddenly it took off, flying, fluttering, and riding the wind as it ought! It flew over my head, circled back once, then was gone, disappearing into the nearing sunset.

After months of feeling impotent, frustrated, shocked and worried in the face of illness and tragedy, those precious few minutes with the butterfly meant the world to me. The encounter gave me renewed hope, for that butterfly seemed to be transitioning and then took off looking vibrant and strong just minutes later. It made me realize anew that in times of sorrow and pain, when we feel at our lowest, a well-timed bit of support can truly make a huge difference. As long as there is a spark and the potential for aid, all is not lost. 

Whether it’s reaching out to a friend because they’re suddenly on your mind, taking the time to research and educate yourself about COVID-19, racism or an environmental cause, attending a protest or rally, choosing to vote, supporting local farmers and businesses, speaking to your children about current events, or any other myriad of steps you can take, your actions – no matter how small they may seem in the moment – could be pivotal for the well-being of someone or something else. Recognize and use your power for infinite good. The time is now. 


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