- Mary Ruth Velicki
My Butterfly Story
Updated: Feb 22, 2022
I noticed this butterfly getting blown around near the ground, and when it tumbled into the pool, I rescued it. Immediately, it flew from my hands to my chest. It sat over my heart for about fifteen minutes, and I shielded it from the wind. Finally, I decided to bring it into the house. Once inside, it crawled to the top of my finger and sat there about 12 inches from my face. It was quite surprising! After about a half-hour, I transferred it to a house plant.
Over the next few days, this little butterfly lived on that plant and we spent time together. It gripped my finger as I walked around the house. It crawled over me while I watched TV and sometimes it tried to fly. Because it was injured, it could only glide to the ground. Every time it landed, I placed my hand a few inches away, and it walked over and jumped up onto my finger! But most of the time, it just sat on my finger quietly looking at me. I breathed deeply, observed its beautiful markings, and watched the delicate movements of its legs. At the same time I felt my body calming down and releasing tension. I felt uncommonly connected to this small creature.
On the fourth day of its visit, I woke up to find it frantically flapping its wings as it moved across the floor, and it didn't jump up on my finger when I came near. I picked it up and put it back on the plant several times, and finally it quieted down. It seemed like the end was near.
About four in the afternoon, I came back and held the butterfly in the palm of my hand. Its legs were now crossed over its body in a symmetrical way and its eyes had a milky-white sheen. Over the next ten minutes, the base of its body gradually opened up, fluid drained out, and it died. In the past, this would have seemed gross to me, but now it felt like I was sitting at the bedside of a loved one.
The last day of this butterfly's visit was my 60th birthday. When I checked my messages, I found a birthday greeting from Iben (a past spiritual mentor) that included two emojis: a butterfly and a swirl of energy. It was surprising since she had not yet heard this story. My friend Ana (who has studied Vedic Astrology) told me that every 30 years we transition into a new phase of our lives- so turning 60 is significant. When I looked up the meaning of the butterfly I found it represents transformation and rebirth and is often considered to be a sign of a new direction in life.
When my son called to wish me a happy birthday, I told him this story. He said, “I don’t always get your stories mom, but this one is interesting to me. It taught you to be present.” I replied, “That’s exactly what I thought too. Being with this butterfly helped me calm down, breathe, and observe. And when I moved into that state, I felt love and connection, and I witnessed the miracle of life." After this experience, I decided to make breathing and opening not just a practice but a way of living. As this idea came through, lyrics from the song "Feeling Good" popped into my mind: "It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life for me."