Writing Wednesday – A Year of Butterflies


It was right after her grandmother passed away. That’s when she began to notice the butterflies. They were everywhere she looked.

Over by the kittens’ house, there abounded a kaleidoscope of blue butterflies. Red-spotted purple butterflies they were called, but they were actually beautiful shades of blue with a a few orange-looking spots near the top tips of their wings. The dotted lines that spanned around the edges of their wings made them look like cutouts from a child’s coloring book. Beautiful flying creatures that God had cut out of the clouds and gently sent off his hand to flutter down to comfort her.

red-tipped purple butterfly

Down by the swimming pool, she saw yellow butterflies. Pure yellow with maybe a few little orange markings on them that she couldn’t see unless she held still enough for one to land close to her where her wide eyes would gaze upon its papery thin, lemony yellow wings. Cloudless sulphurs.

cloudless sulphur butterfly

Someone once told her that seeing yellow butterflies meant the spirit of a deceased love one was near. She didn’t know, but it was a lovely thought. A yellow butterfly greeted her down by the pool every day that summer. It’d flit back and forth over the pool as she floated atop the crystal clear water on her pink floatie, gazing up at the clouds through her sunglasses, daydreaming of days gone by and things to come in the afterlife. She knew it likely wasn’t the same butterfly every day. The average lifespan of a butterfly was only a month, but she liked to believe that for that month it was the same one – a kindred spirit that’d taken a fancy to her and checked up on  her every day. Hello, my dear friend. How are you holding up today? 

Once it even shared her floatie with her. Landing gently by her foot, it perched and floated along for the span of a minute or two before fluttering prettily along its way. She didn’t feel so alone in those minutes, and her heart was lightened. Thank you, my dear friend.

Flitting about the rest of the yard, she observed orange and yellow monarchs with their beautiful contrast of bright colors amidst their dark outlines. Had there always been this many butterflies across the yard every summer, or was she just now taking notice of them?

When her birthday rolled around, one of her dearest friends from across the country sent her stationary decorated with beautiful images of butterflies along with some 3D butterfly stickers. She loved to watch the wings of the stickers flutter, as if a real butterfly had landed upon her page.


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