Thursday, 9 October 2014

Butterfly Wings

The alarm went off at 5.50 am, but it took me a while to get myself out of bed. I’m not the kind that jumps out of bed, charging into the day. No, this time of the day, those first few waking moments are when I am feeling totally connected with myself, in every way. And I want to know what is going on, what I am feeling, where in my body and why.  These are those precious moments when I am totally at peace with myself, regardless of what I am feeling. So, I allow myself those first 15-20 minutes to just feel the day. This morning was like any other in that respect as with the routine that followed.

I did some reiki, then stretching exercises, some meditation and made my breakfast. I drank my daily quota of two-and-a-half cups of morning tea [there’s no symbolism in that number, it’s just what the thermos will fill up with] and wrote in my journal. It’s usually time for some more elaborate yoga asanas after this, but, of late, I have felt like getting out and taking a walk. Now, 9.45 am on a mid-September Gurgaon morning, with the sun shining bright, is perhaps not the best hour of the day to take a morning walk but, I braved on, talking to myself as I walked step by step around the complex.

One of the best things about this later hour is that there is no-one else walking and I can talk to myself. Yes, talk to myself as in getting words out of my mouth, posing questions and waiting for the answers, looking for them in the trees and the breeze and otherwise just being attentive to my body. It’s amazing how things just come up. I walked quite briskly as I had written, in my journal, for longer than intended, and I was running late. And to be honest, even though there was a breeze and it wasn’t unpleasantly hot, it was getting close to 34 degrees Celsius with very little shade for most of the perimeter I walked. It was quite warm and getting hotter by the minute.

Anyway, absorbed in the dialogue started through the journal, I realised that talking to myself in this way was actually giving my fingers a rest. I walked and talked and towards the end of my half hour walk, I chanced upon a butterfly. It flitted right past my eyes, as I turned the pavement, around the park. It had possibly been busy with the flowers and decided to take a break, because it passed me and then swooped down onto the dark, blackish tarmac - the sharp contrast between the tar and its delicate beige wings, possibly showing it off, at its best.

For some reason it kept its wings tightly shut. I peered down, lowering my large frame by half and bending my knees, to take a look at those delicate markings of very fine lines, almost invisible really, of a light, cup-of-tea kind of brown, with very small dots of sepia sparsely patterning an otherwise plain pair of wings. Then, it opened its wings and I let out a gasp of delight. But it teased; it tempted and seduced with those beautiful colours and patterns, keeping them open only for nano seconds with long pauses in between. And between each opening, which seemed like such an age, my eyes waited to feast on its incredibly beautiful wings, on the inside.

I stilled myself despite the discomfiture of the posture, looking down on a creature no more than an inch in size, more than five-and-a half-feet below my normal sight. I prayed silently for it to open its wings and let me feast my eyes, but it wouldn’t relent. And then it did and closed them shut almost instantly. I stared with such intensity each time, noting the iridescent blue with a fringe of orange dots like burning embers of coal, on a jet-black border, with dancing silver and gold dots appearing here and there almost like beings of light – transparent and constantly moving. The orange centres of the dots were golden, like a halo of light inside the flaming orange. The orange that surrounded this yellowish circle, merged outwards, into scarlet red. And the contrast with black leading into a spectacularly electric blue was such a surprise after the dull beige on the outside that I was mesmerised. I stood for a long time, just looking at this spectacle, waiting for the butterfly to open its wings again.

I was lucky that no car drove past to spoil this for me but, frankly I couldn’t get enough. I was also a bit peeved that I hadn’t carried my phone with me because I could have tried to capture the colours on camera. But I like to balance the tech part of my life with occasionally leaving the phone behind while I walk. Therefore, I had to work hard, exercising my memory muscles to record every detail. I have to confess it was a refreshing change but it also means that I don’t have any photos to share with you on this post. The heat of the sun, the time of the day, everything was forgotten as I blissfully sweated on the tarmac, delighted by miniscule, delicate, feathery wings, seated in the vast empty expanse of rough stones coated with tar-coal, until it flew beyond my sight.

I straightened my back and resumed my walk to see all the drivers who were cleaning the cars, looking at me in the oddest way.  But I smiled because they hadn’t seen the sublime beauty I had been privy to; neither did I think they would understand what it meant, in this urban metropolis, to be treated to such a sight.

I had been reading books and hearing podcasts about angels and spirits and how they come to speak to us in the physical world, through butterflies and creatures of the earth, and more besides. So, coupled with this information and the unusual drama I had witnessed with the butterfly wings, my interest was piqued. For the remainder of my walk, I wondered why it had behaved so oddly. Was there a spiritual message in this for me?

Those wings were patterned in the most spectacularly unique way. It is not unusual to see butterflies on my walks around where I live, but this was no ordinary butterfly. I had never seen anything quite so beautiful, nor really ever seen the theatrics it displayed, in ever so reluctantly opening its wings. This made me wonder if somewhere that was a way to actually show them off to their best, to ensure that everyone’s attention was riveted. But are butterflies aware of people looking at them? Was it narcissistic and, knowing its beauty, teasing my senses? Or was it afraid of being exploited in some way because it was so incredibly stunning?

Yet, as though it was a messenger from the astral world, it stayed long enough and ensured it had got my attention. I was compelled, by my idiosyncratic habit of leaving the phone at home, to memorise the colours, patterns and ritual as enacted, which has somehow seeped into the very soul of my being. But I am still grappling with the message it carried, if indeed there was any, beyond the moment of delight I revelled in.

Indescribable splendour
Winged colours amaze
Butterfly away!


  1. Perhaps you were told via books and podcasts how angels and spirits communicate before the encounter so that you recognize it? :) I'd heard some psychic medium talk about how coins may show up and they indicate the presence of a passed one. Incredibly after my father passed away I used to find coins sometimes. This last time was 2 nights ago. My father was a surgeon and took care of my mother who has a rough medical history. 2 nights ago, the night of the lunar eclipse, she had a sudden episode of dizziness, fainting, high BP, intense headache, so I called the ambulance and she was in ER. There in the room I noticed a 1 cent copper coin, which I seem to find whenever Mummy or I are going through a rough time. I just smiled and picked it up. Who knows? I do hope that my father has peacefully traveled on to the divine abode or reincarnated somewhere, and is still not attached or stuck in this realm. Peace!

    1. Vinita, I don't really know much about this realm and am learning. The butterfly experience has intrigued me and my interest in this subject has grown. I am curious as to the finding of copper coins when you or your mother are distressed. How does this help? I imagine you feel reassured at an emotional level, but does anything occur in the condition of your mother or your situation of distress, that alleviates the discomfort? How does the spirit world actually help us in the physical realm?

    2. I am not to keen to tune into the spirit world so never put my attention on it. I do believe that the ones one the other side do help and support, in addition to angels, beings, spiritual guides masters. Again, this is what I'm told. I have experienced spiritual masters appear in my meditations when I'm distressed and at times when I'm in an expanded state of consciousness when I can "see" and "sense" the masters. I think the important thing to remember is to find comfort and solace that we are not alone in a desert but have help, support, an canopy of protection from Grace, blessings, unconditional love and wisdom...

  2. I would love to see an embroidery of the patterns, color and form based on how you remember it! What it might take on through your memory in trying to "capture" it would probably be more interesting than what you might have caught on the camera.

    1. Kathryn, I had considered sitting down and making a drawing of it, but then the words came and I left it at that because at some level I find greater clarity with words. But, I never thought of embroidery and I think that is a great idea. The visual is still clear in my mind and hope that once I complete the 2000 origami butterflies that I was inspired to make because of this unusual enactment that caught my attention, maybe I could get down to actually creating what I saw and remember - it would be an interesting exercise.

      And you are right, I would in all likelihood create something quite different to what it was, but that would be the interesting part, to see what actually emerges. Memory along with imagination.

      Good idea, thanks!