Last Sunday afternoon the most beautiful black swallowtail emerged from the branches of an indoor house plant. Evidently his cocoon had been attached there before we brought the tree in from the deck last fall.
Life has been hibernating all winter in the corner of the den–waiting for spring.
The Internet gave me the necessary knowledge to “doctor” the new creation. This species normally appears late May, so he was premature for survival outside. It was below freezing at night last week here in Tennessee. I bought fresh parsley and carrot tops–exactly what he would order. I learned how to feed him sugar water and juice via a q-tip.
I realized quickly that something was not quite right; he was perfectly formed, developed completely as far as I could determine. -his colors were brilliant as the male is. He would crawl on my arm and glide a little–but never quite fly.
One morning he kept fluttering at the window as if to go outside. I knew it was too cold at night; he wouldn’t survive long. The thought came to me that is how I am often. I want so badly to do something, go somewhere–but God knows it is not for my good. I am not ready—–
One morning I watched his struggle in flight, I wanted him to fly–to fly through the rooms. “Oh, I want you to soar in the skies as you were meant to do,” I cried. It pained me to watch. I wanted to help but could not.
It was as if the Lord whispered to me at that moment, “and that is what I desire for you,–to soar, to succeed in what I designed you to be. How much more my heart aches for you.”
This lovely butterfly survived almost a week. There is a story here–even if he were free and able to fly outside, there was no female counterpart for him. He would have flown and flown–looking everywhere for his “Eve”–Tom says he was “born out of time”.
I look forward to the butterflies this spring. Butterflies have always been a “favorite thing” on my journey—but this spring, I will be reminded of the brevity of life, the timing in life, the fulfilled purpose for life–with every butterfly I see.
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a future and a hope, declares the Lord . . . ” Jeremiah 29: 11
Desiring to Soar . . .