The death of a butterfly

It wasn’t a good day. I was stressed. Because of work. Because my eyes weren’t better. Because the house still sat on the market. Because of the car accident and all the aftermath from it.

Then I did something stupid. Without thinking. I embarrassed someone dearer to me than my own life. I guess some might consider it small in the larger scheme of things. But it was thoughtless. Insensitive.

Though I’d already apologized, I felt sad. And angry. Would I ever learn to think before I act?

Driving later that day, thinking things couldn’t get worse, I glanced up and saw a large black butterfly coming toward me. In less than a second, its delicate body hit the windshield wiper on my side and contorted around it. One of its wings (I could see the bright blue in it) flapped madly in the wind.

I had to keep driving. I was on the expressway. And it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway. I’m sure it died the instant it struck the blade.

But, it was agonizing to see it there. That beautiful creature, bent in two, mangled forever. I started to cry. Pain. Everywhere. Caused by others. Caused by me. Caused by chance or destiny or God.

I changed lanes. The wind caught the butterfly and swept it away. Up over the roof of my car. It was gone.

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7 comments

  1. Oh Jeanette, so sorry you’re feeling this way; i’ve been feeling the same. 🙁 hopefully it’ll pass us soon.

  2. I’m sorry you are under so much stress. Even in the midst of your misery, though, you are still thoughtful and sensitive. Think about how many people wouldn’t have been fazed by that butterfly? Or, worse, would have complained about the mess it made.I just read your accident post. Seconds from hitting a concrete post????????I hope things get better soon.

  3. You’ve been on my mind a lot this week, even before I read your posts. Call me sometime soon?

  4. You know, we all do it. Say or do something hurtful, and then go to bed wondering, as you did, “Will I ever learn?”Thanks for writing about it so eloquently. After reading your words, I feel a little less alone.

  5. We’ve all been there. But few of us have written about it as honestly as you have here.May tomorrow bring you happiness.

  6. I know it’s a little late to say this–but I wanted to thank you all for your encouragement.

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