Butterfly Kisses

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During the Thanksgiving break, I babysat an aquarium full of caterpillars. Here is one of the caterpillars that morphed beautifully into a monarch butterfly.

It was so entertaining to observe the busy and very hungry caterpillars devouring their favorite food of crown flower leaves. Casey joked, “You love those caterpillars more than me!” He watching his favorite cooking shows on HULU and I glued to the caterpillar fest. Perfect circles are chewed out of new large leaves and within hours they are limp and few to nothingness. They get all long and chunky but that doesn’t stop them from crawling across flappy leaves and brittle twigs.

Then they find a place to dangle in a j for a day. As they do that, it kind of looks like a carefree child hanging from the playground monkey bars but with head and chest crunching forward with hands formed in prayer. Before it sheds its caterpillar coat to boast a newly formed jade green chrysalis, it looks as though its doing crunches. Does it hurt to morph like that? It almost looks like it is about to explode but it is actually getting ready to rip off its old skin. On the bottom of the aquarium, there are hollow shriveled up caterpillar masks.

The new shiny putty coat is embossed with a 24 karat gold colored line toward the top and specks toward the bottom. Then in about two weeks or less, the jade green casing turns into a black nugget. But when you look and focus close enough, you can see the formation of orange and black wings through a transparent skin. The morphing continues on by the hour then the butterfly breaks and crawls out of its chrysalis. It unfolds its wings and flaps in exaggerated slow-motion to ready itself for its first flight.

Being ever so gentle and patient, it is time to let go and free this beautiful creature of the Universe. It rests on dewy leaves and flutters in between flowers and children waiting still as a pole for butterfly kisses. Such a heavenly treasure to be close to this majestic creature. Malino worked very hard to stay still and get a grander look at the face of what once used to be a squirmy inch and a half of green, black, and white stripes. She got so close as to see its tiny little eyes jutting out of its newly formed and fuzzy polka dotted body. “Why are his eyes so black?”, she asked intuitively and she continued to study it as long as it was at close proximities. Once, it flew upon her supple cheeks and crawled over to her curly topped head and rested on a tendril close to her temple and it looked like a brand new butterfly clip. She shouted “ow!” at first as it ascended onto her face but I advised her to be still. And her sister and I looked in awe until it launched another short flight to a nearby purple orchid where I seized the moment to capture a butterfly kiss. Sight is indeed beautiful! Thank you Lord!

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Love and blessings always…

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