They bring us smiles and a little moment of joy when we notice them flitting through the air. Butterflies. Every summer our back yard butterfly bush is full of them as they sip the sweet nectar of the flowering shrub.
As it often does, my mind takes me hopping away on rabbit trails when my eyes view certain images and seeing butterflies is no different. I can’t help but think of an old movie from the early 1970’s entitled Butterflies Are Free.
The film was based on a Broadway play by the same name, but long before that, the famed English author, Charles Dickens, wrote these words in his 1852-53 novel, Bleak House: “I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free. Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole what it concedes to the butterflies!”
When watching butterflies float along in the air, they do connote an air of freedom, don’t they? Those thoughts occur to me as I recall a day trip we ventured on last month.
Just as the calendar page turned over to September, Nana and Papa realized that the hours we normally spend caring for our first-born granddaughter on week days would become very limited. Why?
Little One would trot off to school the day after Labor Day when our local school district decided to open schools for those who wanted to attend. (Choices were made by parents to either send their masked children to school where social distancing would be the norm or continue online learning.)
So to celebrate those last days of our grandchild’s “freedom,” we suggested to our daughter that the four of us take a day trip – a visit to an interactive animal and adventure park in our area.
Actually, we all needed a day of freedom – a get-away from pandemic life. We needed a day to feel ‘normal.’ A day for fun. A day spent outdoors in bright, warm sunshine.
Our day trip to this 144-acre park where about 60 different species of animals were available to observe, interact with, and feed was just the ticket.
Little One had a ball while her mommy helped her feed some of the animals. She exclaimed over seeing lions, bears, reindeer, giraffes, ostriches, zebras, camels, lemurs, giant tortoises, birds, and more…the animals were such fun to watch and the goats truly tickled her fancy.
But hands down, one of the most favorite aspects of the day was entering the butterfly house. Different kinds of butterflies winged their way around us, landing on flowers planted inside the structure, and to Little One’s delight, on us!
The giggles were many as butterflies clung to her mommy’s flowered shirt, landed on Nana’s finger, and eventually situated themselves on Little One.
Butterflies remind us how truly wonderful freedom is. How delightful life can be with just a little sunshine, a day spent outdoors in nature, viewing some of the magnificent creatures God created, and spending time with loved ones.
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson