By Donaia De Marco
April makes me think of the first flowers of spring. Crocuses, bright yellow and fervent purple, are breaking through the lingering, sooty snow and the gray, gray of an old fashioned New England winter. My granddaughter's new puppy was so excited to see colors that he bounded over to them and bit a flower off before I could do anything about it. He then proceeded to lay down, flower between his paws, and eat it with great relish. I was dumbfounded! I remembered how Disney had immediately lost some of its appeal for me when, at age eight, I saw a lioness attack an antelope on TV.
Vulnerability is a key word for April. When we experience the first flowering of a new aspect of ourselves, the mighty mouth of ego surfaces to say, "Beware…young puppies may lurk about to eat you up." When we are just recently in a new anything, we seem to be acutely aware of our vulnerability. We don't have any idea how to operate from this new place we have opened up in ourselves. And, we seem to have some strong mechanism inside of us that urges us back to the old. I sometimes wonder about the lobster who has just molted. His new shell is so soft, and he is quite unprotected until his shell begins to harden again. Of course, Mr. Lobster will just go ahead and molt again in a matter of months. We humans seem to hardly molt at all…if ever. We seem to develop a shell and then carry it around with us wherever we go. Perhaps we drop it when we make love. Perhaps it somehow disappears when we discover we have just been in some kind of mystical union with "whatever".
I had the opportunity to visit a place called "Butterfly World" in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and was able to experience vulnerability to a most beautiful, divine degree. Never before in my time on this planet earth have I experienced such an intense feeling of sweet peace. The energy of hundreds of butterfly wings is thrilling as you quiet yourself to feel it fluttering by your skin. There's a lush grace and vibrancy in the smooth quiet, deep green vegetation. Every so often, a fine mist is released into the air near a steadily gurgling little waterfall. Children stop in their tracks soon after they enter. Their mouths drop open…so quietly awesome is the sight of this vibrantly, fluttery, peaceful world. In one of the sounds of silence, Vivaldi ever so lightly filters through the foliage as you lean in to smell a magenta flower. You are transported in a land of delicacy, fine balance, and vulnerability. And, you smile…and open up…and there are benches to slip down into for a while. Some grand Order abounds in this place. Thomas Troward in his book, The Creative Process in the Individual defined beauty as order, the due proportioning of each individual part. Hats off…and a gentle bow…to the beautiful creation of "Butterfly World". I experienced what Thomas Troward's words meant by beauty as order. I felt the balance; I felt peace in that ecosystem. Now I know what I have been talking about.
The butterflies live only seven to ten days. Every so often, if you happen to look down, exquisite carcasses can be seen on the ground. In a walkway, boxes filled with oozing cocoons line the wall. We watched a butterfly in its last stages of emergence. She jerkily shook her wing to finally release herself as if she were stuck to the side of the chrysalis. "Hey, did she just come out!" I exclaimed. Yes, she had.
I was experiencing her emergence into the new. It was a first flowering…the time when we are not sure who we are and what the world will be like for us. A new you means a new consciousness, a new viewpoint, a different perspective…therefore, a New World. Ms Butterfly seemed so new, so delicate, so vulnerable…and…so unafraid. She was simply shaking herself loose. "How do I get out of here?" she seemed to be saying…feeling perfectly safe, perfectly free…perfectly open and ready for her new adventure.
Woooo…I was impressed! I now feel possibility. Not only have I had a vision of origin, but also…I now have a feeling of origin. I felt at home there…safe there…like I fit in with those vibrant, vulnerable creatures sailing around a backdrop of luscious green! I felt myself relax and sigh…and begin to move into a smooth smile, into a smile that sweetly fills my whole body and makes me want to move. I was in love. Yes…I felt plugged in…in this world of fluttery, sweet and calm softness…plugged in to my Maker. I felt the kinship, the dance, the kiss…of infinite peace, of eternal calm…reflected in that buttery-fluttery world. Yes, my friends, it is possible to be joyful and safe, vulnerable and free, open and connected. And the butterflies have a whole lifetime of it.
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