A Horse, A Butterfly… and Me

Apolinaire                                         Ink Drawing by Erick Moreau

Apolinaire had obviously orchestrated something different for me today, I say with a smirky smile, and perhaps with partial tongue in cheek. (There’s still a pocketful of skepticism that seduces my thoughts.)

While rushing with barn chores so I could have some play time with the horses, Apolinaire, head guy here, had rounded up the herd and quietly tiptoed away with them to a far pasture. When the last load of manure was emptied, and the last feeder bowl was rinsed, I walked around the corner of the barn to hang out with the sleeping magicians. To my surprise, I found instead not one of them. The area was abandoned, empty, vacant, dead quiet. I stood there in dismay. When I finally recovered, I found that in their place, Apolinaire had left me with a butterfly.

He’d either changed costumes from horse to butterfly, or the two of them were in cahoots and planned the inspired pageantry that follows, teaching me how to receive rather than trying to fix something that was wrong with them. Apolinaire had been clearly objecting to my attempts to do that lately.

As the story continues, with no horses in sight, nor snorts giving me hints as to their whereabouts, the butterfly caught my eye sipping water from a withering mud puddle near the horses’ water buckets. Stretched out flat, it appeared at first glance to have been merely painted on the moist ground. Wings were spread out fully, and it was beautifully dressed with yellow, black, and a spot of azure blue near the tail.

Memories suddenly converged from years gone by. Appearances of butterflies at strategic moments and places sending me the same message. They each had in common the same special symbols divinely tatooed on their wings. I checked this lovely butterfly for those same markings. Yes. There they were, framing the wings.

A long time ago, a brave one precariously found its way into my house and had a surprise meeting with me in the sunny bathroom. Undaunted by its unusual surroundings it flaunted its wings and symbolic markings making sure I noticed. At the time I took it as a message of hope that specific personal issues would someday be resolved. Today, I did the same. Remembering the years of visitations by these creatures of transformation, and pondering the synchronicity of today’s appearance with the physical challenges in my life, I slumped down against an old fence post in an act of surrender. I sat quietly with the distinguished insect guest as it continued to drink nearby. I wondered at the reappearance at this time as I was facing an upcoming minor surgery.

With its thirst finally quenched, the butterfly took flight and began to flutter around my head gathering up my awareness. It then flew away and danced around the paddock area where I was sitting. I felt in my soul the gracefulness and lightness of its movements as its visual ritual held me captive. It came back encircling my head, then all around the paddock area again, repeating this pattern several times.

It was clear that something more was going on. Apolinaire had indeed been preparing me for this in the past few days by putting a stop to my incessant need to “fix” him. (See post: Something Up His Hoof) And now today, not one of the horses was around to tempt me with that old habit.

Entranced by the spontaneity and the beauty of this ceremonious event, I watched the butterfly as she moved her wings in midair perhaps to a piece composed by Vivaldi that only she could hear. I felt the breath of her spirit each time she came near. As I relaxed and believed that this moment was real, that I was really having an encounter with a butterfly, I heard the music of her heart singing me a song. Her special language told me that this was more than a reminder, it was more than a hopeful message, it was more than an inspiring moment. What she was doing was physically life changing. In poetic style I was told to feel these moments like I would the warm rays of the sun as it penetrates my body. The notes of her song whispered over and over, flittering up and down the scale, ” Receive and allow, receive and allow, receive, receive, receive.

I rested my head on the post that had become my anchor to the ground. I felt her gift as I would feel the sun offering a mystical massage with warm aromatic oils absorbing deeply into my body. My world suddenly expanded and my heart became filled with new expectations of joy. I was submerged in a powerful metamorphisis, knowing that this divine creature was changing me at the physical level, as well as the spiritual. All I had to do was receive. That was what Apolinaire had been trying to tell me lately. Receive. The simplest most difficult thing to do.

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