Las Mariposas de Verano

It’s October, and the monarch butterflies have stormed Texas, migrating north for the winter through Mexico. For some reason, this time of year managed to slide right past me for the past few years. Maybe back home I was just used to it, but this year I have been seeing these beauties everywhere, and they never fail to put a smile on my face. 

I snapped a picture of this one just a few hours ago during work. There were two of them and the little girls were going crazy. I’m not ashamed to say in the least that I was too.

Monarchs were my favorite butterfly as a kid, and if I remember correctly it was purely because they appeared around my birthday, but now that I’m all growed up I’ve realized exactly how much meaning butterflies have for me, and how much I’ve surrounded myself with them. For example, my favorite earrings to wear are two tiny mismatched butterflies, and I have a ring that is a butterfly as well. If I were to ever get a tattoo, it would be a tiny butterfly, and it would probably be one of my own design, because they tend to be my margin doodle of choice.
  So what’s up with me and butterflies? Honestly, I’m not really sure. Sure, they’re beautiful, graceful, a symbol of rebirth and all that, but I think I embodied my personal connection with butterflies best in a quite unoriginally titled poem I wrote back in my sophomore year of high school.

Butterfly

‘tis quite vain to wish to be a butterfly.

quite selfish, too.
The glory of beauty

   and the exhilaration of flying

are trivial, hardly worth 
the loss of free will. 
Only instincts guide the delicate creature;
   love,
   liberty,
   happiness,
are ever unknown.
Yes, I will be content with being human;
we humans can dream,

   create,

   love,
   feel,
   and remember,
and I wouldn’t give up my daydreams:
soaring, darting, flitting
across the open sky.
pretending, once again,
to be a butterfly.

It’s a rather different view of butterflies than most people have, but it works for me. After I wrote this poem I kind of forgot about it, but it pushed itself back to the surface. Four years later, this sentiment has cemented itself in my character. Lots of people have words, ideas, or objects that hold lifelong meaning for them; something tells me I’ve found mine, and it’s a delicate, gentle, but non-sentient butterfly.

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