Pay Attention!

15 09 2010

A few days ago, as I was rushing to get myself out of the house and to an appointment, something caught my eye in my backyard pond – a butterfly, wings outstretched on the water, floating. “It’s dead,” I thought to myself, but I felt compelled to photograph its beautiful tragedy. Camera in hand, I dashed down the deck steps and to the side of the pond . . . IT’S ALIVE!!!


There it was, waving its legs and antennae frantically, trapped by the surface tension of the water. I grabbed a shovel and gently scooped it out. Wings adhered to the damp shovel, it continued to wriggle, unable to free itself. Very carefully, I slid my fingernail under one wing, easing it away from the metal. Then I freed the other wing, gently and s-l-o-w-l-y. The butterfly held onto my finger as I coaxed him onto a geranium leaf to regain his bearings. I watched as he dried his wings, slowly and deliberately opening and closing, opening and closing.


What a humbling moment.  Had I not paid attention – really paid attention – to that little flash of “what’s that” from the corner of my eye, that butterfly would have died in my pond. I saved a life.

Yes, it was a bug.

Yes, butterflies have a naturally brief lifespan.

Yes, I saved a life.

Yes, I was late to my appointment.

Yes, it was worth it.

Make sure life – any life – does not pass by you unnoticed.  You’re alive. Pay attention.

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4 responses

15 09 2010
John Kerecz

Very nice thought and very true!

15 09 2010
Erin Keck

What a neat experience Paula. It is the little things that make you take a moment to stand still and reflect. Take time to smell the roses or in this case to save the butterfly.

16 09 2010
H G

This is the true definition of “The Butterfly Effect”! Everything we do affects the world around us…and beyond! Thanks as always for the reminder of how important each of us is to each other!!!

22 09 2010
Bobbi

This is a shining example of one of our church’s principles:
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

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