Butterfly Wings and Wisdom

SwallowtailBF__072713smlOver the weekend, my husband and I noticed a large, beautiful butterfly flitting from flower to flower.  We both remarked on how graceful and colorful the butterfly was.  Of course, I had to snap a photo with my cell phone.

It wasn’t until I was admiring the photograph for the 7th or 8th time, that I realized the butterfly was missing part of her left wing.   I still think that butterfly is beautiful.  I could have used Photoshop to add back the part of her wing that is missing, but that damaged wing makes her even more interesting to me.

How did she come to lose that part of her wing?  Was it torn away by a hungry bird or was it broken when she transformed from a caterpillar into a butterfly?  Was she one of a million butterflies released at a wedding reception and injured by other butterflies rushing to get out of their container?  Or, was she captured in a net by a young butterfly hunter who eventually let her go?

How much more difficult is it for her to fly with part of her wing missing?  My guess is that it is a little more difficult than it would be if her wing were intact.   She could have given up, decided that her defective wing was reason enough to sit on a branch and let other butterflies care for her.   But, that’s not what she did; she was out gathering her own food and living her life.  I think that makes her not only beautiful, but courageous and tenacious too.

I’m a firm believer in the symbolic meaning of things we come across in everyday life.  Does this butterfly have a message for you?

Do you tend to focus on what you think are your physical flaws, when everyone who meets you just notices your beauty?  Do you have financial, educational, physical, mental, social or emotional limitations?  Do you spend so much energy arguing for your limitations, that you ignore the unlimited capacity you have in another area?   Perhaps this magnificent butterfly is a symbol for what you could accomplish if you bravely crawled out of your safe cocoon, spread your wings and took a leap of faith.

If this butterfly had a message for you, what would it be?

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