Sunday, July 31, 2011
The Butterfly Season!
Amazing picture, isn't it? I am glad I found it because it closely resembles a memory I have carried since I was 14.
That memory came back as I biked a section of the Katy Trail with my daughter the other morning.
On the hot, dusty path we were grateful for the arching tunnel of trees and bushes. The sounds and smells of a dieing summer wrapped around us as we peddled. My daughter did not notice it, but I did.
As we rode beside swamps and the Missouri River, the tree frogs continuoulsy serenaded us. Every once and awhile a brown and even a red leaf would float down on the trail signaling the impending fall yet to come. Browns and yellows were rapidly replacing lush greens of June. Even the humid air had the musty smell of decaying leaves and grass.
With the colors of August replacing those of summer, the butterflies along the trail stood out even more. Large yellow, orange, and black and deep purple wings flew up around us.
And I remembered....
I was 14. My mom and dad had an old pontoon boat they used to take the family out on Crab Orchard Lake. There was one inlet they especially enjoyed.
In the quiet cove away from speed boats and skiiers, they could bank the boat and walk into the cool shade of tall pine trees. I can still smell the scent of those pine trees and feel the soft mattress of the cushion their needles made on the forest floor.
After school started, our last excursion of the year occurred Labor Day weekend. It was time to say good-bye to our swimming hole, our water skiing, and our pontoon boat cruises around the small lake.
Mom and Dad's little boat sputtered across Crab Orchard Lake. The tree frogs' songs echoed across the smooth, glassy surface. Green banks were turning yellow, and even the birds' silenced songs seemed to signal their resignation to the impending winter days to come.
Then we saw it. As Dad started to bank the pontoons onto the small, sandy beach, we gasped as we saw hundreds of monarch butterflies swimming through the air of the forest.
My mother, giggling with glee, jumped out of the boat,swam to the beach, and stood with her arms outstretched.
Monarchs with their deep orange-and-black-etched wings flew to still-wet skin as though she were a giant flower. They landed on her arms and head as she smiled soaking up the rare moment.
I will never forget that sight.
It was magical.
And it all came back as my daughter and I peddled along the dusty road of the Katy Trail on a hot summer day.
I returned home still pondering over that image and had to look up information about the Monarch. I always knew, as do you, about the Monarch's migration.
I did not know, however, that the Monarchs who migrated were the FOURTH GENERATION of butterflies during the year. The Monarchs who hatch during the spring and early summer months are the first, second, and third generations and only survive a few weeks. It is the fourth generation that survives the migration and lives for up to eight months.
I thought about my parents and the generations to come. My parents' generation was an amazing one. That generation survived the Great Depression and World War II. They were the CAN DO generation.
My generation, on the other hand, had peace marches, Vietnam War, birth control pills, burning bras, and drugs. Yes, my generation did do good deeds as well, yet some how I have always felt we were a spoiled lot. We have whined and griped all too often over petty things.
And I have been part of that. It is thanks to the generations before us who have fought, worked hard, and had the spirit of CAN DO, that my generation has done so well.
I wonder. What has my generation passed on for the next one? What am I leaving for my own daughter and her children?
Will the path of my life help my daughter's migration toward heaven? Will her path and images be filled with God's beauty and faith in Him?
We studied this morning the life of David. When David came close to his own death, he did not focus for his last words on all he had accomplished. He did not pray to God thanks for the sword of Goliath hanging in his palace nor for the trophies during his reign from conquering his foes. No, he thanked God for using him in writing about and singing about God's glory (Second Samuel). All that mattered in the end, was what David did for God.
All that matters for us as we migrate toward heaven is what we allow God to do through us.
May your migration be one of beauty...
For His Glory,