It is half way through the Wildlife Trust challenge of spending at least 20 minutes in nature every day throughout the month of June. I suspect that dog walkers have this as part of their daily routine already – dogs know what’s good for them! But I don’t have a dog, so I’ve been taking myself out for a walk everyday!
As I was walking along this path there was a small tortoiseshell butterfly sunning itself on the ground, so I stopped and watched it for a while. Since I was a child I have loved butterflies. My parents had the most wonderful garden full of flowers which attracted many different kinds of butterflies, and one summer I remember taking particular notice of them and ticking off what I had seen in the ‘I-Spy’ booklet – I didn’t quite understand the concept of some butterflies being so rare that they don’t usually land in gardens in the urban south-east of England. I never did see a swallowtail butterfly!
More recently, the butterfly has been for me a symbol of change and renewal, used memorably by Bill Plotkin in the image of the cocoon where the caterpillar dissolves the old way of belonging to the world in order to become untethered, beautiful, with the ability to fly. It is a powerful image of ‘dying’ to the old way of thinking and being in the world – as painful as that dissolution is – in order to become the unique person you truly are born to be.
Happy butterfly walk 🙂
[Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche Bill Plotkin]