“Honest, Dad, Will they really do that?”
Our six-year old asked softly,
And so I told her again to trust…
(Even butterflies are suspect nowadays!)
Under a late sun, with a wry smile,
Christ-like, bare arms straight out,
She calls silently to white butterflies,
Who one by one jitter to her warm brown skin.
Small angels, they each land and kiss her arms
Each kiss holding a promise of more to come
Patience rewarded, her smile broke the peace
As one and then another and another… flitted away.
July 2002 at 36 Eye to Eye
Each new day breeds perilous adventures
My daughter, now a woman, knows… very well
On this day, once again she sees her angels
Now on their mission to renew old ties!
Flowing freely, the same smile
Greets God’s tiny messengers.
The young woman suddenly stops
As one flits and flirts around her.
“Hello, old protector,” she whispers.
“I Thank you for what I see
When I look you in the eye…
God’s love …yes, God’s love for me!”
July 2013 At 47 Take the Walk
Always, there’re little angels waiting for you
To take the walk and stop when you see them.
Again… trust them… they will find you
Smile early… and simply reach out to them!
—Dad, July 2013
My dad wrote this for me. I lived in Chicago for about 10 years. I have struggled with “God” my entire life. I struggle with what I can’t see. I remember calling up my pastor when I was a little girl and asking where God came from. He told me it was sorta like baking a cake… cake batter… a little of this and a little of that. I got nothin’ from that.
I was really in the middle of a super sick episode in Chicago. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was trying everything I could at the time. I was walking the streets of Wrigleyville – usually around 4:30 am. It was summer, though, so it was daylight at the time. The white butterflies were out – not all of the time, but here and there. I walked the back streets mostly. In the back streets the – the alleys of Wrigley – there are a lot of gardens. The butterflies love them.
One morning… probably a few of the mornings I’d talk to myself (ok, I always talk to myself) and I’d argue with God. Question him. Yell a lot (in my head of course). The butterflies would show up at times that seemed like I might have been asking for some reassurance. It dawned on me at some point that maybe there was a connection between them showing up and me needing that reassurance… I would stop and smile a bit when I’d see them… my heart rate would go down… still does… That was 12 years ago.
Yesterday I was on a walk with Paisley, my basset hound. I’ve been feeling great lately. Head is clear. Heart is pounding faithfully without ache most of the time… but I experienced a loss recently – one that I actually initiated. It was much needed, but still painful. I was thinking about it on my walk. Sure enough… flit and flirt. There it was… there “HE” was??? I stopped for second. I smiled. Sure enough, my heart settled a bit and Paisley and I went on about our walk.
I don’t know that I actually believe in God. Obviously my father would like to believe that it’s the choice I have made with my butterflies. I must believe in something. And, I guess that’s all that matters… that there is something that gets us through those tough times or we’d never get through them. Maybe it’s just us! We are strong! We should be proud of ourselves for that. If no one else believes in us – we should!!!
Or, we could believe in our butterflies! 🙂