Perhaps the butterfly is proof you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something beautiful.
If you believe in animal spirits, then you may be familiar with the meaning of butterflies: endurance, change, hope, life. Our souls. Resurrection. As far back as I remember, I’ve always seen butterflies alive in nature, colorful, and lighthearted, dancing in the air.
A couple of weeks ago, I was leaving a friend’s house. I happened to look down as I walked to my car, and there was a dead butterfly lying on the pavement. A monarch butterfly, to be exact. Now, I am a scientist, and an engineer, and you’d think grounded in “reality” such that I’d poo-poo signs as coincidences, and the like. But, as we have been saying a lot lately at work “you don’t know what you don’t know” and “you don’t know what you don’t know what you don’t know.” I have seen enough things, studied nature for so many years, that heck yeah, I’m a bit “whimsical.” Open to possibilities. Discovery. Magic. With that in mind, I say that we can’t rule for, or against, coincidences or synchronicity. What about patterns? Are they statistically significant? Well….a beautiful mind is a warning that even patterns can be subjective and false. Still, perhaps….
As is my nature, I took note of the incidence, but I didn’t really dwell on it farther than googling “dead butterfly meaning,” seeing “death to yourself or a loved one is imminent” or “change that had been initiated has died” returned in the search results. Having had a lot of bad stuff happening recently, to family members and friends, I wasn’t too thrilled to see this; but hey, it’s not real, right?
I won’t bore you with details, but regardless to say I kept this in the back of my mind, churning and mulling over what this might mean, for the rest of the day. Considering where I had seen the dead butterfly, and whom my friend was that I’d been with, and what I knew was happening there, coupled with some unsettling vibes, I wondered if this was some kind of sign. Hopefully not death for either of us or our loved ones, but perhaps death of a change, end of hope, giving up….hmmmm…..that was something to ponder.
They say when we dream, it’s our subconscious mind trying to work through issues in our lives that waking we don’t have time to focus on. It’s a free fall universe where there are no rules, no boundaries, and, as such, the freedom to interpret from limitless perspectives is possible. To envision infinite outcomes and possibilities to reach what is seen and experienced in the waking world takes place nightly or during the day, depending on your personal schedule.
For me, I don’t dream. At least, I don’t remember that I dream. So I wonder, sometimes, if my waking mind attaches meaning to ordinary events (aka dead butterfly in my path) similar to the dreaming state. The concept of “day dreaming,” if you will, so I can process my troubles and cares that I don’t do at night. So I can become aware of issues that I am glossing over, to let my heart and soul trigger my brain to say “hey idiot, wake up and pay attention!”
I admit I did nothing more that day, or dwell on it further. Not until today, when I drove to work this morning, and I saw another monarch butterfly fluttering by my windshield at a stoplight, did I remember the dead butterfly. And all the bad juju. This time, I thought, perhaps seeing a live butterfly meant Hope. Change. Endurance. Life. Resurrection. It was a reversal of the stagnation the dead butterfly signaled.
Tonight, I’m not sleeping. Not because I drank too much coffee (I actually have been cutting down; okay, that means only 4 cups today, but all before 1 pm!), but because of the song lyrics “you had a bad day” running through my mind. I’ve had a lot of rough and challenging days recently. On numerous fronts, both personal and professional, and not only with this friend. But when I saw the butterfly, I was hopeful. Hopeful again that change that had started would reinitiate, perhaps in a new way, that life was going to get better, and a reminder that I have come this far, and endured, and I’m going to keep going. For besides love, the most important thing in life is hope. Hope that a path being blazed will bring peace and joy, hope that change is for the better, hope for strength to endure pain and hardship, and hope that we all find that which nourishes our souls.