Written by Karen D. Swim
When I was 6 or 7 years old I caught a butterfly in a jar. My little girl innocence led me to believe that the butterfly would be happy in its glass prison. I put a leaf , the head of a aisy, and a few blades of grass in the jar so Ophelia would feel at home. I gently carried the jar to my room and sat it on the windowsill. I pressed my nose against the jar watching closely believing that something magical would happen.
What I did not know is that the beauty of the butterfly is in its flight not its capture. I tried to recreate nature in a jelly jar but it was not the same. In the jar there was no soft fluttering of wings as the butterfly moved gracefully from leaf to flower and the sun did not catch the kaleidoscope of colors that made the world seem magical. The beauty that I longed to possess was only present when the butterfly was in action, free and in the wild, not stilled by a little girl and her jar.
Like the butterfly, words, ideas and thoughts are most beautiful when they are allowed to soar. Their beauty is showcased as they move effortlessly with the wind mixing with other elements and carrying the conversation from plant to leaf.
Yet, we long to capture that moment when the idea, the thought shimmers brightly in the sunlight casting a warm glow over the horizon. The beauty of writing is to capture while simultaneously allowing the words to soar free and unfettered. We must not imprison them with our doubts and fears or suffocate them with ownership. We must allow them to pollinate, to morph, to migrate or to enjoy symbiotic relationships with other social insects. To do anything less is to deny them their true beauty.
How about you, have you caught any butterflies lately? Once captured were they as beautiful as they were free?