For more than 20 years, I knew I have had a strong connection to butterflies. I symbolically place them around the house to decorate. Clients and friends tell me I look and act like a butterfly fairy person, and seriously, I don’t try to! I certainly have been intuitively called by the butterfly. I seem to have a way of attracting them around me as well. They follow me or hover over me. Anyone who has experienced that, knows what a joyful feeling that is! Actually, many of my clients recognize the butterfly as one of their totem animals as well. I call them “My Butterfly People”.
I naturally put a soulful, transformational butterfly symbol on my first Reiki certificate for students back in 1996. Not too many years after, a wonderful graphic designer put my ideas together to create my logo. In it and sometimes missed, one of the antenna of the butterfly is a magic wand. There is a subtle soul spiral inside a larger outer circle which represents many things, especially the containment of the elements and above and below for manifestation. And of course, the moon is within the logo, which represents my journey through the cycles and seasons of the Divine Feminine. The logo as a whole has profound meaning and represents the magnificent ability of the Creator within all of us to manifest our desires.
Recently, I had a designer redesign my website carefully placing butterfly throughout. The home page is my favorite, on the computer version, there are two morpho butterflies chasing each other around. So, I really have had butterfly on the brain!
Over two weeks ago, we had a San Diego, California, winter storm of cold rain, hail and whipping winds. It was sudden and a contrast to our convenient warm weather. Things broke, flew around and fell over in the yard and the pool was a mess! The next day I found a beautiful butterfly lying on its side in a pile of pine needles next to the pool. Assumed dead, the poor thing had been fished out of the filter early that morning and left there to be cleaned up at another time. Hours later, I found her. I thought she was dead and put her on my shelf to look at her lovely pattern. Then I noticed one of her antennae moving ever so slowly. I thought it was my breath moving it. I immediately put her in a planter outside that had warm sunlight on it and left her there. I went out to check her later, just before dark. She hadn’t moved. Her wings were tight together as they were when I found her, but I talked to her and her antenna moved again. The winds were picking up and the weather report predicted one more heavy rain for the next day, so I brought her to a protected spot in the front of the house and nestled her into a planter with flowers and a covering from the rain. Little did I know this was the start of our sweet relationship and that this would be her special, safety spot to heal for what is now, two and half weeks later. Yes, she is still alive today as I write this!
It hasn’t been easy for her. She could barely move in the beginning. I read online it was okay to give 7 parts water to 1 part honey in a small container to a wounded butterfly. It just so happened that I finally received a very special “blue zone” honey I had ordered from a small island in Greece called Ikaria where there is no pollution or farming. Most of the people there live to be well over 100. I waited on a list for a year to get this honey from a small company called Klio. They send small batches to America when they have a good season. I gave her Pine and Wildflower Ikaria Honey with alkaline water in a cleaned out, metal, votive candle holder. I had to hold her up by her tight wings so she could eat. I was so excited when I saw her proboscis reach in like a straw and start drinking. She drank for a long time. I read online that a tiny bit of salt is okay for her too. Actually, I had no real idea whether she was a boy or girl at this time.
Each day, I would talk gently to her while giving her alkaline water or the honey water. I would clean her little legs in tiny puddles of alkaline water on the warm concrete because the stuff from the soil in the planter would stick to them. Little by little she would move her legs. She would switch off dragging a leg around and barely moved. I moved her around as if I was her physical therapist. It was precious. I felt her looking at me. I would lean in about a foot away and tell her how beautiful she is and that she is getting better every day. As it got cold out, at dusk, I would put her under a green plant to hide, but always making sure her wings were not touching anything. I hoped they would open freely, but that hadn’t happened in days.
Finally, one warm day, after she drank water in the tiny puddle, I reached over and peeled her wings apart. She stayed in one place for about 10 minutes practicing moving her wings ever so slightly. They weren’t open all the way, but she was moving them a bit. I literally could feel her excitement, but again, barely any movement. Then she did something I will never forget. For the first time, she crawled in a half circle turning toward me. I was crouched down observing her about a foot away, and she lifted up her head and looked right into my eyes! There was no doubt in my mind that she was deeply connecting to me. I felt her sweet gratefulness and I was grateful too. Flying was the ultimate goal for both of us. Now an “us” developed. We became a team. She did get used to opening up her wings and moving them very well. I was so amazed at her beauty on the exciting day that she finally unfurled them wide open!
I realized that she was heaven sent to me, so I can feel a renewed, joyful understanding of my life. 2020 and into 2021 has been a very trying time for all of us. It was hard at times hearing the despair of stuckness and isolation many of my clients were feeling in different areas of their lives. I felt it myself, most of all, when I lost a third, important, family member in my life in May of 2020. The two others passed in 2019. Not only is pandemic living isolating, but the experience triggers feelings of abandonment. I certainly felt that abandonment in ways I never could have imagined. As I helped this innocent, vulnerable butterfly heal, I felt joy in every one of her healing accomplishments right down to seeing her move just one leg a little more one day. I wondered if I had lost my mind at first. I was afraid I was controlling her to live. I let go of that idea when I saw her contentment to drink from the little water honey dish on her own and warm up in the sun. Her tiny instinctual steps toward wholeness of life created subconscious steps in my life. I felt inspired and energized to get my bike ready for riding again, be more creative cooking and taking more walks. Areas in myself I had abandoned were addressed and still continue to be as I fuss over my little friend.
Actually, I was always a little afraid of bugs – their little black bodies and legs, etc., maybe because they’re so vulnerable to us giants. We can hurt them so easily. Instincts of survival drive these little creatures, each in their own way. Learning about them requires an overwhelming amount of investigation to really understand them considering there are so many species. The experience of taking care of my little friend continues to help me grow in understanding just how resilient an insect can be and how important each little life is. So I learned about MY resilience and importance. I decided to name her Persistence because that’s what she continues to show me. I also studied online and realized she is a girl. The name Persistence suited her well. One day I rested her behind a cute, outdoor, bunny statue to keep her safe while she was soaking up some sun. I wanted to leave her in a safe spot while I took care of some stuff. Within seconds a giant spider came out and Persistence’s body seemed to react in a fearful way. With instant reflexes and protective mothering skills, I swooped in to move her to a safer spot. In that moment I knew how much I loved her.
As she started to get frisky and was moving about a lot more, she would just jump from a plant or flower I placed her on and would end up on her back on the concrete. She would even open her wings like an airplane on a runway and go at a faster speed right off the edge of the pot, straight down to the concrete and land upside down. I’d put her back up right away.
I started to believe that there was no way that she would fly again especially because she had been in the horrible, chlorine pool. I figured too many scales were gone. I knew her wing at the bottom was ripped off a bit too. I learned online that I might be able to help her fly by getting her to practice! So, I lifted her up to my finger for the first time and tried teaching her to fly again in the living room above the carpet instead. She dropped each time straight down. Eventually, I could tell she seemed to like being on my fingers, arm and shirt. She resisted when I took her off. I started to love this little black bodied insect on my skin. She even took out her proboscis and checked me out. She may have needed salt?
So, I studied online one more time. This time seeing people repair wings with glue and scissors! I didn’t need to do that, but I also learned that I can trim both sides to make them even. Soooo, after that I followed her around with little scissors an evened out the bottom of the wings to match in a nice aerodynamic way and tried the flight training again. No go.
I couldn’t wait to tell a friend of mine what I had been doing for the last two weeks, nursing, befriending and doing surgery with a butterfly. She tells me that just the other day she was at a restaurant and met a woman named Susie Monarch who breeds monarchs! What? She had Susie’s number, so I didn’t hesitate to call. I was winging it by using my intuition to make Persistence healthy all along hoping she would fly again. I texted Susie some pictures and told her my story. She was excited that I contacted her. I learned that Persistence is a resident monarch who missed her migration time at the end of the summer. She may have been born later after the migration period. Susie confirmed that Persistence is a girl. Sue also confirmed that it is not usual for a butterfly who normally lives for around three weeks to be an already full grown adult, cared by me, for two and a half more weeks! She said I am a Spiritual Healer called to help this sweet girl. I laughed and told her about my business and directed her to my site to see the butterflies fly around on the computer Home Page. Up until now, my clients have been only humans. She taught me how the monarchs follow milkweed, their favorite food, and only place where they lay their eggs right after mating. Milkweed can become unhealthy after September and has to be cut back. Then the monarchs will be forced to migrate to find food and preserve their life until Spring. We agreed she is old and tattered and is not going to fly anymore.
Well, she doesn’t try to fly anymore, but still is frisky and moves around and hangs on the plants very well. Anything I see she can’t do because she can’t fly, I help her with. I go back and forth to the front yard checking on her, making sure she is comfortable and I feed her now once a day. Working from home makes this possible. Today it is a little chilly. As I’m writing this, I have her in my sunny, office room with the heater on while she sits on a flower in one of her planters. It’s getting late, so I will bring her back to a safe place in the outside planter for the night. At night she holds onto a plant and hangs in stillness. I have come to see this stillness as pleasant for her and not boring. During the day, when I come out, she starts moving as if she is excited to hear my voice, “Hello pretty lady, I love you.” I say that over and over again. She has adapted to me being her survival helper. I can feel with all of my heart, the trust she has given me.
Was it the special honey that keeps her alive? My love and attention? Or both? When she must pass, I will know that I did my best with true positive, loving energy every step of the way. There is just no getting around the cycle of life. Today, I am very aware that I am not abandoned by the spirit of my peeps that I love in the living and the ones who have passed. Not one of them is really gone. Perhaps, Persistance and I have known each other in more ways than one. And hey, what if butterflies are fairies? In any case, I feel blessed by our time together.
Some Messages from Persistance that can help all of us during this time on our planet:
I’m thankful. I trust. I’m patient. I’m flexible and moveable. Flowers and plants are wonderful. Stay hydrated. Be free. Nothing should be harsh. I see. I sense. Be ready for flight even when you think you can’t. Stillness is pleasant. People can be warm. People will reflect back to you reminding you – you are alive. People are life affirming companions…
Enjoy every day of the glorious life you have. Spirit never dies and you will always be connected to those you have loved. They are always with you.
Blessings, Hugs, and Butterfly Kisses,
Wendy & Persistence