I visited a Butterfly House today and took WAY too many pictures! How amazing each one of them are! While I was there, I overheard one of the staff members telling people that it was a shame that this or that butterfly was not a perfect specimen because it's wings had been damaged in some way. I commented to her that they are still so very beautiful to look at, even if they are missing a wing tip here or there. She stared at me blankly. I continued on with my visit.
Yes, there were many near perfect-looking specimens to look at in awe and to photograph. I got some truly amazing shots. But this one was my favorite. This butterfly had landed on the brick walkway right near the entrance door to welcome us in. It stayed in place while large human feet landed all around it. Some saw it and marveled at it for a moment before passing on by. Others did not notice and I warned them before their feet got much too close! They looked surprised, glanced down quickly, and kept on walking past.
I watched for awhile. No one really took the time to stop and look at this butterfly, even though they had to go out of their way to avoid stepping on it. It was not as bright or flashy as some of the others. It's wings were tattered and plain. But as I sat on that brick walkway and took its picture, I noticed how the colors and the patterns on its wings were all perfectly aligned together. I noticed how content it was to sit and bask on a warm brick, to gain some "me" time for itself, ignoring threats from the outside world.
For a moment, I was reminded of how beautiful and perfect we each are, imperfections and all. I was also reminded of how infrequently we take the time to notice that about ourselves and others. I've become much more aware of these things now that Treasure is in my life. I see how some people treat her just because she does not appear to be a perfect specimen. I should not have been surprised that they would do the same with this butterfly. Yet it saddened me for a moment.
This butterfly is most likely coming towards the end of its life cycle. The younger butterflies are more vibrant and have full beautiful wings. But thanks to its imperfectness, I found true beauty and was reminded of some marvelous lessons. And thanks to photography, now I can remind you of those lessons as well. Thank you, Butterfly!