Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Butterfly Saved Me From Drowning

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Sometimes when we feel like we are drowning, being pulled under by the currents of our struggles, God sends us the smallest of His creatures to pull us up from the depths and breathe new life into us. When that happens the story is often too big to tell, to full of mystery, Spirit and the undefinable, to put into words. But still we feel the need to try and share these magical resurrections that bring us from the dark into the light.

This latest Autoimmune/Lyme/MSIDS relapse I have been having has spiraled me into an intense depression and a lot of physical and mental pain. I have felt so short tempered and unloving to those around me that I have, once again, shut myself off from the world to protect others from my suffering and to try and rest and find balance within my self. Don wanted to go kayaking yesterday but I was in a lot of pain and my fatigue felt incapacitating. He said he wouldn't go without me and looked so disappointed when I told him I couldn't go. So I went because he has been working so hard and I wanted him to be blessed with a day spent on the water. I was hurting so much that no matter how hard I tried, I know I was not at all pleasant to be around.

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We got to the pond and headed out in our kayaks, sometimes hanging out together chatting other times going off to explore alone. We were both enjoying our paddle when a flock of geese flew directly over our heads. We both started taking photos and then the geese landed at the end of the pond. We both started to quickly paddle towards them to take photos when something tiny and yellow caught my eye and caused me to turn back and paddle in the opposite direction. I called out to Don to come see but he was too excited about the geese so he headed of towards the flock.

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What I saw a a swallowtail butterfly struggling to fly above the water. He would flutter his wings in a massive effort then drop down almost landing in the water. His motions were jerky and clearly panicked. It was clear that he was is serious trouble. Then it happened, he dropped down lower and lower until he hit the water and his wings were flat and unmoving against the surface of the pond. I was still a ways off so I raced towards him with a whisper in my heart that said "Please let me get there in time. Don't let me be too late".  As soon as I got close enough I stretched out my paddle as far as I could and scooped him up.  He clung to the paddle but as I drew it in towards the kayak he once again tried to fly. The same thing happened, massive, panicked, effort only to collapse on the water.  Closer now, I reached out again with my paddle and this time, too exhausted to fly off, he just dropped onto the floor of the kayak and laid there, unmoving.

His wings were badly tattered. There was a landscaping company in a large field across the road, (the direction he had flown from), clearing some brushy land with mowers and multiple weed-wackers. I wondered if they had damaged his wings with weed-wackers.

After a few moments of complete surrender and rest on the floor of the kayak he began to slowly crawl up my leg. I can't even begin to explain to you what it felt like to have him walking so gently and delicately up my leg but it was so much more amazing than I would have imagined. One of the hardest parts of this relapse is that I have been having so much pain and weakness in my legs again that I very much fear that I will end up having to use a walker and wheelchair again. My legs are very swollen and numb from the lymphedema and painful from the autoimmune/Lyme issues, but I could feel every gentle step he took and while he was walking on me I was not aware of my pain, just his gentle trusting steps as he climbed closer to my heart center.

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 I paddled over to the shore, from which he came, with him resting on my lap. Then he crawled onto my hand and for a while it felt like time stopped as he looked me right in the eye and clung tightly to my fingers. Both of us wounded, both struggling to survive, pushed to a place of trusting that something bigger was guiding us safely to the shore. As we looked at each other I felt a very palpable sense of kindred understanding and connection.

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 After quite a long while he turned his gaze towards the field from which he had flown. 
Then looking back towards me he began to slowly flap his wings.

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Still clinging to my fingers he continued to test his wings. 
This time they were beating steady, confidently and strong. 

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A last glance back towards me as if to say goodbye, then he turned away from me. In a single moment he let loose the tight grip he had on my finger and rose high into the air.
He was airborne so suddenly that I let out a little gasp for the wonder of it all. 

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I watched him fly away, chanting a silent prayer in my heart for his wings to carry him safely home. I watched as he flew up the bank, across the road, and back over the field. Strong and steady he made it all the way back to the tree line at the end of the field.

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The little yellow spec I circled in this photo is my beautiful butterfly entering the woods on the other side of the road and field. This photo was taken with a zoom lens so he is much farther away than it appears in the photo. A long flight on damaged, but still strong, wings. Sat Nam, my beautiful friend, you saved me from drowning today. 

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: 
For thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 
~Hebrews 13:2

Snatam Kaur singing Ardas Bhaee

“Normally there is no power in the human but the power of prayer. And to do prayer, you have to put your mind and body together and then pray from the soul. Ardas Bahee is a mantra prayer. If you sing it, your mind, body and soul automatically combine and without saying what you want, the need of the life is adjusted. That is the beauty of this prayer.” — Yogi Bhajan


  1. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. I hope that your pain goes into remission soon.

    1. Thank you Laurie, for reading it and for the healing wishes.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for all the light & beauty you Share too, Susan.