My month has been consumed with monarchs – raising, watching, & tagging them. And if you’re going to be consumed by something, a butterfly is a pretty good way to go.
With monarchs, like anything else that we begin to pay more attention to, I am now noticing them everywhere. It seems that any time I look up I’m looking at the flutter of orange wings against a bright blue sky. They’re everywhere — near the wetlands, on woodland trails, flying over my neighborhood, feasting on flowers in my backyard, and even as I drive through city streets.
Seeing butterflies traversing over busy city streets makes me pause. There’s something strange about witnessing a cycle that has occurred over so many thousands of years against the backdrop of a quickly constructed human city of cement, tall buildings, and honking cars. The slow, steady, and sure migration of the monarchs is quite the contrast to our hurried existence as modern humans.
One day last week, I too was in a hurry. I felt the familiar tightness in my body that comes with being too busy and moving too fast. I left work after a flurry of activity for a lecture that I needed to attend on the other side of town. I quickly got in my car and started criticizing myself for not preparing a better way to attend an environmental lecture on the other side of town (I should have carpooled!). I felt guilty and I had too much to do in too little time.
After a few moments of driving, I was stopped at a traffic light and looked out the window to my left.
In the midst of a busy city street, a monarch was floating gently on the wind right outside my window. I became present again, drawn in to the beauty of this butterfly and its remarkable journey. I was able to leave the confines of my busy mind and see that the monarch had a message floating along with it.
“Slow down, move with the rhythms of nature, & find peace in the midst of any situation.”
P.S. Part 2 of Magical Monarchs is coming within the next couple of days!
P.P.S. Find out when the peak of monarch migration comes through your area here.