“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge-
That myth is more potent than history.
I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts-
That hope always triumphs over experience-
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
*One of my favorite things is butterflies. I love, not just the colors, and the varieties of shapes, but the silent grace of these creatures. Butterflies are a welcome sight, no matter where you go, people are happy to see them.
Moths, their cousins, are seen as pests. They are reputed to *eat clothes* and people stock up on mothballs to put in their closets to keep them away. They are not often seen as lovely, delicate, and silently graceful.
I dare you to tell me these creatures are not just as beautiful.
Yes, they flutter more frenetically, at least the smaller ones do, and yes, they will flock toward a light-source, whether it be a lightbulb, or a candle’s flame.
But they can be just as gorgeous, just as graceful, as their daytime counterparts.
They too, might sit delicately on your hand or arm, licking the salt from your skin, gently fanning their wings.
In my experience, moths are simply butterflies that prefer the darkness to the light.
They are not as showy as their cousins, preferring to keep their colors more muted, subdued. They also tend to be smaller, except for this behemoth, the luna moth. My personal favorite. We used to see these occasionally where I grew up in Iowa. Not often, just enough to keep me fascinated with them.
So, you’re asking now, why butterflies and moths, in the middle of winter? What do these have anything to do with snow, with the holidays, with ice and cold?
Not a damn thing.
I’m tired of feeling like a creature, caught and kept in glass.
I found a Butterfly in a Jar in one of the local stores this weekend. I instantly wanted it, but had to forego buying it. No, it’s not a real butterfly. It’s electronic, a beautiful, fake thing on a wire, that flutters around the jar when you tap on the lid.
I still want one, not so much because I have any desire to capture a real live butterfly, I prefer releasing them to capturing.
No, I want one – to remind myself that even though people may stare, may tap at the glass, and may even shake it up now and again – the butterfly you see inside the jar is not real. You can’t hurt it, you can’t kill it. The batteries, or whatever it is that fuels this electronic critter, will eventually run down, but it will not die.
The real ones are still free. Still beautiful, still graceful in all their silence.
And sometimes, they’re not even butterflies. Sometimes, they’re moths.
Tonight is Yule. It is also the night of the total lunar eclipse. If it stops snowing, even for a moment, around midnight, I’ll get to see it.
And, like those moths, I will flutter toward it, yearning for the light, and the renewal that comes with it.