She dances through open sky to seek breakfast in my yard, single row of water-hose nurtured roses miraculously blooming even in deep drought, an oasis in a two hundred acre desert of horse hay devoid of sweet smelling nectar and the velvety curl of flower petals.
Where she has come from, I do not know. Her wings are perfect, not a scale out of place, edges not yet frayed from wind, water, or near escapes. Perhaps she is newly hatched, taking her inaugural flight, parched from a week or more in sun-baked chrysalis.
Woody grass clippings stick to my feet as I pursue her, the withered, inwardly turned blades' dewy coolness refreshing against bare skin. Even when I stand motionless, trying to only catch her in pixels, she takes drunken, wobbly steps around me, the only dance she has ever known, one hard wired in her small insect brain to help evade being snatched midair by hawks ever-gliding overhead on invisible perches of wind or by our dreamsicle cat Jonah's pounce.
I struggle to tear myself away from simply watching her move, move on with what I'm supposed to be accomplishing. This moment is so fleeting, will most likely be our only crossing of paths since the peak of her beauty before me only comes when her journey is nearly complete. In the wild, it's likely she has a week to ten days.
It's been a month or more of 100+ degree afternoons that have imprisoned the children and me indoors except for brave early-morning forays into the already sweltering sauna and even briefer late evening romps down the porch until pelted by hoards of bloodthirsty mosquitoes.
This morning's butterfly is the first in quite sometime that I have felt God near me in the ordinary everydayness. This past winter and spring's commune with God throughout the routine activities of living close to His creation was lost, a perfectly solid connection suddenly gone dead. In the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and home schooling my three preschoolers, He has been ever so silent.
I told husband just the other day that God was speaking volumes to me about my soul, transforming knowledge into action through ministry opportunities I needed to be involved in to fulfill His word, dictation at lightening speed as I studied His word. Late nights spent devouring the manna were full of excitement, exhilaration, and revelation with Him willing to unlock treasure after treasure..but that was it.
In the daylight and into the night, I've sought answers to questions, all of which are still pending. Instead, the answers He's given are to questions I have not asked.
In the midst of this difficult season, last week presented me with the results of a few blood tests, all of which were fine but that showed me in the upper end of normal in two areas where I know genetics is already at play. At only thirty-four years old, I'm already looking at what could kill me. Even with my doing cardio five times a week and carefully monitoring everything that enters my mouth, that black and white computer printout speaks of potential health issues barely held in check during this supposed peak in my life.
I'm the one always onto husband for the impurities (Dr. Pepper) he funnels into his organs, his lack of daily heart-pumping activity, and here I am the one seeing my days numbered on paper. Although I know the one who numbers my days, it's sobering, not feeling invincible even before my forties.
But even in this, God has reminded me of a quote He lay before me when I first started teaching: "The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." (Rabindranth Tagore).
Although He may not give me the answers I seek, although genetics and statistics seem stacked against me, I'm not going home until my journey, my purpose in this life is complete. Yes, I have been fighting against fear that His purpose for me will be fulfilled all too soon, not for my sake but for those whom I love and want to spend a lifetime loving.
And so I keep praying, intentionally choosing each moment to rest in Him and His peace, knowing that if I don't, I will never enjoy the flower since I will be earthbound, doomed to never fly with open wings, dance in open sky.