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If I could stop time

July 10th, 2005 · 2 Comments

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We spent the day with family at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle and I feel both tired and refreshed. My favorite moment came in the Tropical Butterfly House. I wished I could have spent hours there in the mist, in the midst of ferns and flowers, watching the butterflies float around us. One landed on my hand. I stood still, breathless, as if time were extended, until it flew away. This trip to the Center was a celebration of Abigail’s birthday, so she was particularly delighted when one of the large South American Morpho butterflies visted her, perhaps mistaking her red dress for a vibrant flower.

Butterflies appear to be pieces of tissue paper given life, translucent and thin, fragile and free. They are creatures of change and transformation, just as I see my own daughter changing little by little into the woman she will one day be. It will come sooner than I think it will. Another year, another birthday mark another step closer to her freedom. Yet Abigail is already beautiful. As her mother, I feel each day I am watching her learn to fly.

Life is ephemeral, as demonstrated by the butterflies. A case of chrysalis on one side of the room revealed the beginnings while a few motionless bodies in the garden testified to the end. The clock keeps ticking for each creature, counting days until death. In a week where I’ve felt the clock ticking, where I’ve felt the weight of worry and duty, rushing here to there, I stood in silence, refreshed by insects. As they flew from flower to flower, the bright hues of blue, red, yellow alight in the air, I wished I could stop time and stay forever in that moment. It seemed magical. I felt I too was transformed, into another world. And at the same time, I was reminded of another world, another place, of beauty and transformation, where time will stop and stay forever. Although I haven’t listened to this CD for a while, Christine Dente’s song started singing in my mind:

Quiet breeze, twilight in the trees

Bare feet in the grass

Little girl, laughing as she twirls

Fireflies in her hands

She says to me, “I wish this day would never end”

The stars will fall

Can’t catch them all

They’re an echo of heaven

The wind will sigh

And whisper I’m

Living in an echo of heaven

Always calling me on

– Echoes of Heaven, by Christine Dente, Scott Dente and Jimmy Collins, 2002

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tamar // Jul 10, 2005 at 5:07 am

    This post is as beautiful as the butterflies themselves…ephemeral and magical.

  • 2 Nickie // Jul 14, 2005 at 7:18 am

    What a beautiful post! I just found your blog and I love it! And I also listened to your presentation from Gnomedex. Thank you for that.

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