I was sitting out in the north garden chatting with my best friend on the cell phone, and enjoying a beautiful Autumn afternoon when I saw a butterfly flutter by. As it landed on one of my pink cosmos flowers I slipped back inside the house, remarking to my friend as I did that I should have taken the camera out with me to begin with. I expected the butterfly to be long gone by the time I got back outside with the camera, and was pleasantly surprised to find it still sitting on that pink flower. But, because of how it was perched upon that flower I was going to have to walk by it in order to get a good shot of it. I just knew it would flitter off when I did. Once again I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't even budge as I slowly walked by it. I took several shots of that lovely butterfly as it rested upon the pink cosmos flower.
Oddly enough, I didn't noticed the tattered and torn condition of its wings until I had downloaded the photos onto my laptop. At first I was disappointed by the shots because of the condition of the butterfly's wings. But as I studied the pictures the words "Tattered Wings" popped into my head. As I continued to study the photos I began to realize that those tattered and torn wings actually added a bittersweet touch of beauty to the photo. They are the wings of a butterfly who though past its youthful prime, still finds sweet delight in the nectar of the pink flower it landed upon. Those tattered and torn wings are a beautiful combination of fragility and strength. So very fragile now with age, yet still strong enough for flight. Those wings also speak of survival. Though age may be partly responsible for the tattered condition of those wings, I also suspect they are the sign of a butterfly who has escaped the jaws, or beaks of death at least once.
As I study those torn and tattered wings I think about how I planted not just flowers for the butterflies this year, but plants that caterpillars like to feed on as well. And think how wonderful it would be if eggs from that butterfly hatch, become caterpillars, then one day butterflies, all within the carefully planted world I created for them. The thought of that happening brings a strange sense of peace and pride to this woman, who like the butterfly is far past her youthful prime, who met and faced the Grim Reaper in her early youth, but lived to tell about it. Though oft times marked by despair, other times seared by lies and deceit, like the fragile tattered wings of the butterfly, my darker shade of gray soul still finds the strength to take flight sometimes and not only enjoy the simple sight of a butterfly, but photograph it, write about, and also offer that photo and these words to others in hopes that in turn they will brighten and inspire the hearts, minds, and souls of others.
This Butterfly flitters & flutters
Still ever so gracefully....
This Butterfly glitters & glides
Still upon soft breezes....
This Butterfly weaves an ethereal dance
Still to whispered oohs & awe.
In movement, this Butterfly's beauty
was not lost but found...
The naked eye unable to percieve
this Butterfly's fading strengths...
The mind blurred by
this Butterfly's glorious past.
Not until the camera's eye did capture
this Butterfly's tattered state...
As this Butterfly caught a gasping breath
resting upon yon late bloom...
Did this Butterfly realize this last
dance was mine.
Please join in the spirit of The Word Garden, help it grow, and send your poem or story of 500 words or less for the Tattered Wings photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. Though you may name your story or poem whatever you wish, please include the words Tattered Wings in the subject heading or body of your email if you are sending a contribution for this photo.
If have an interesting photo that you think might inspire others to pen a verse or short story please make sure it is in jpg format, no larger than 150K file size, and send it to me at the same email addy for consideration for The Word Garden.