Writing Wednesday – The Yellow Butterfly


Tears stung her eyes as she floated around the pool, the floatie leaving soft ripples in its wake. She gazed up at the robin’s egg blue sky dotted only by a few cottony clouds. The sun shone down upon her exposed skin, kissing her with warmth and making the droplets of water glisten. Yet despite the warmth of the beautiful summer day, she felt cold inside.

Her chest felt tight as memories of other summer days when the sky looked just like this assaulted her. The treetops swayed just so, the same tempo they’d exhibited so many years ago when those who’d passed on where still living. The feeling in the air was the same, and yet it wasn’t. There was no way to describe it but bittersweet nostalgia and saudade.

She wondered about where they were now. It pained her to think that they had merely faded into a state of nonexistence. Surely there was something more. A heaven, perhaps, where there was joy and peace forevermore. She liked to think that, but sometimes doubt crept in, tormenting her.

A lump gathered in her throat. She couldn’t breathe. Although she was floating atop the water, she was drowning – drowning deep inside the depths of her soul that was muddled with confusion and pain.

Please…show me a sign…something to let me know that they are okay, that there’s something after this life. The plea ran through her mind unbidden, torn from her bleeding heart.

She took a deep breath, willing herself to breathe, to calm, and opened her eyes. There in her peripheral vision was a brilliant yellow butterfly the likes of which she’d never seen ’round these parts before. It flitted over in a zigzag to hover directly above her in her direct line of vision, fluttering steadily in place, as if it had paused to look down at her.

She stilled and stared up at it – its bright yellow wings unmarred by any other color or markings she could see. The seconds ticked by until in the strangest phenomenon, it swooped down directly in front of her eyes for just a millisecond before rising up and fluttering away across the yard.

She floated in a stunned silence, contemplating the strange appearance of the yellow butterfly. When a yellow butterfly appears, a deceased loved one is near.

A soft smile lit her face. Coincidence? Perhaps, but she had just enough hope to believe the odd yellow butterfly was the sign she’d so desperately prayed for. The lump in her throat subsided, and peace filled her soul again as she was filled with a rekindled faith. Thank you, her mind whispered to the divine source that had sent the fluttering of hope.

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