Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When a Butterfly Falls

{July 2012--Breckenridge, Colorado, USA--family reunion}

There should always be such a child to cradle it and shed a tear over it.

Amid the silly-picture-taking, the raucous exuberance of cousin togetherness, and the scandalous hair-dyeing activity (8 cousins, all with head-turning colors) . . .

. . . there was a butterfly

My son found it in a gravel parking lot.  He tenderly picked it up and you could see in his eyes that his heart had broken just a little bit.

Our reverent little party—of one mommy, one son, and my two daughters serving as honorary pallbearers—returned to our vacation accommodation with the mission to find a suitable bed where this tiny soul could be laid to rest.

This was a rite of passage, a hallmark of a complete childhood--hurting at the passing of a cherished life.

It was his idea.  I followed.

He uncovered what was to be the butterfly’s final resting place and gently tucked it in.  A tiny grave marker.  A leaf placed lovingly atop the small mound of bark.

Then it was time for the prayer.  I have never administered a prayer over a grave before.  I was humbled to do so for this little gathering of tender mourners.

I began to sniffle during the prayer, so grateful, so honored to witness in my children a respect for life.  This boy-child of mine has protected ants from the threat of children’s sneakers.  He has forgiven--through his pain and tears--the wasp that once stung his hand.  And this day, he helped a fellow soul soar into the beyond.

The unassuming landscaping belied the scene that imprinted the fabric of space and time with a child’s love. 

Divinity is here.

Thanksgiving--which will soon be celebrated in the United States--is one of my favorite holidays. There is an American folk song written by a Shaker named Joseph Brackett in 1848 called "Simple Gifts."

Simple gifts indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A simple reverence for life. My grandchildren are on a good course of life. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. // TAD

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