I did a lot of things today, but the most important was saving the life of a butterfly.
She had flown into my office and was anxiously trying to escape through the closed panes of a high window. She saw the sunlight and the trees outside and was urgently trying to get back outdoors. A large, beautiful Monarch, the more she crashed against the glass, the more furiously her wings beat, uselessly.
The open door was just below her, but in her fear she couldn’t see it. Her desperation to escape blinded her and no matter how hard she threw herself against the glass, or how fast and high her wings carried her, she was trapped.
How do you rescue a butterfly?
She was beyond my reach, and I had no net to swoop her to safety, or communication to assure her I could be trusted. I was certain I was about to watch helplessly as she beat her body endlessly against the window, and her wings started to slow in final defeat.
I used a broom and prayed she would cling to the brush, so I could gently lead her to safety. It worked for a moment, until her need to fight back kicked in and once again she fought aimlessly at the glass.
It took a step stool and a large plastic cup, and patience with a prayer to wait while she rested on the lip of the window to capture her for her own good. I held my hand at the opening of the cup and felt the frantic beating of her wings, hoping I wasn’t damaging her in the walk outside to her freedom. Pointing the cup upwards to aid in her flight, I moved my hand from its opening. And her wings, now useful once again, took her away from me.
I hope I never see her again.
Only from a distance.
Glorious and free, from the beating of her own wings.