Have you ever shared a beautiful moment with nature? Last week, as I was herding my dogs inside the house after their morning potty break, I saw a butterfly perched between some blades of grass. I walked towards it, expecting it to fly away. Instead, it hopped awkwardly a few inches at a time. It looked physically healthy, but it wouldn’t fly. I called my husband outside to get his opinion. We both decided we needed to get it out of the backyard, so our dogs wouldn’t hurt it the next time we let them out. I very carefully got up close, slowly put my hand next to it, and then something incredible happened. The beautiful Monarch began climbing onto my fingers with very delicate steps. Its wings were spread out and so large that I had to use both hands to hold it safely. As I lifted it, it flew up, but it only got as far as a few feet before it landed back on the grass. So we tried once more. It climbed onto my hand just like before, but now I knew to enclose it gently with my fingers to keep it from flying until we had it in a safe space.
We thought the whole experience was so magical, right up to the moment I stepped on a pile of poop — Doberman-sized poop! I squirmed with disgust, but I couldn’t let it stop me. So I kept walking with my soiled shoe all the way toward the front yard, carrying the precious butterfly, feeling it fluttering nervously in my hands. The plan was to put it on a flower bed, but as soon as I set it free, it flew high up into the sky, finding the tallest tree. In a blink, it was gone, just like that.
I’d never held a butterfly before that day. Although I hated stepping in dog poop while trying to be a hero to this little creature, I’m grateful for the experience of watching it launch itself from my hands. It was definitely a magical moment, poop and all!