Butterfly Sneezes

I value the time I spend sitting on our front porch. It is a good place to practice settling my mind. Today a few swallowtail butterflies decide to drop in for a visit. One in particular likes our small patch of lawn (it must be good for something). The bright yellow wings flit and fly low to the ground, propelling the insect in search of something I do not see. Sometimes it takes a break from the ground and flies upward encircling my head before resuming the hunt.

I wonder what fascinates this life form. The blades of grass must tickle its nose—whatever a nose is on a butterfly. Does it sneeze? There is something about fixing one’s gaze on a natural phenomenon. It always evokes awe and often a chuckle of recognition. I recall a portion of a very prescient and hopeful Moody Blues poem:

Blasting, billowing, bursting forth
With the power of ten billion butterfly sneezes
Man with his flaming pyre
Has conquered the wayward breezes
Climbing to tranquility
Far above the cloud
Conceiving the heavens
Clear of misty shroud

Vast vision must improve our sight
Perhaps at last, we’ll see an end
To our home’s endless blight
And the beginning of the free
Climb to tranquility
Finding its real worth
Conceiving the heavens
Flourishing on earth

(Excerpt from the opening track of the Moody Blues 1969 album To Our Children’s Children’s Children)

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