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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Everybody likes a butterfly, two

I was digging through some old files and came across a "poem" I wrote years ago. The gist of the thing was my concern that a calamity, somehow human-caused, could wipe out all the richness of life found right there in my own backyard. Apparently, one night not long before this poem thing was penned I had a dream in which just that happened: the mockingbirds were silenced, the green peach beetles as well as their grubs turned to dust, the once and future pumpkins blasted off the face of the earth, etc.

It was pretty bad stuff.

But, the germ of the idea has stuck with me: how can life include both the amazing multitudes and varieties of innocent beings just aching to go about the business of life and also humans who can not only imagine or dream about life's annihilation but also engineer and orchestrate it?

Back then, in my poem, I listed lots of life forms and the things they do as a sort of litany or prayer against destruction. Today I'll offer just this one butterfly. This is a Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae. This small creature calmly perched in the cinnamon basil while I snapped many photos, then allowed me to take it up on m
y hand for a few moments before it quietly flew off. Everyone likes a butterfly (although they may have reservations about caterpillars) and I'll hold this one up as my talisman against destruction; my shining amulet of protection. For, who could ever harm the place where such a creature doth dwell?

Peace, and sweet dreams.

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