Camera poised and ready to shoot, I stand and wait as the Monarch paratroopers glide in, iridescently adorned in polka-dotted trimmed uniforms of orange and black. They’ve stormed my garden, sailing over it, scanning and probing it for flight fuel to carry them along their journey.
I zero in on one lone butterfly, fluttering overhead – her wings flapping hard against the late summer’s breeze, the full span of them glistening against Midday’s high sun. She finally maneuvers low to navigate her perfect landing, descending onto the tip of the buttercup-shaped lantana where she sips her nectar, letting It nourish her completely before she takes flight again. In moments, recorded only by the click of my shutter, she drunkenly ascends and joins her airborne troop.
I am saddened to know, in probably just a few short short weeks – she will die in combat – for she has always been in a race against time, like some people I have known and loved and lost. The butterfly’s brief lifespan, despite her sheer will to live, was always destined to be fleeting. And, so I feel special that we shared our brief interlude, here in my garden, where she stayed with me awhile on her personal flight home.
Tonia Allen Gould
©2014 Tonia Allen Gould, All Rights Reserved