This morning, a good friend and I took our toddlers to the nearby Butterfly Estates. Both of us got a little turned around following our respective directions, which took us through rather urban areas of our city’s downtown. The white picket fences with butterflies painted on them reassured us we had reached our destination.
We weren’t sure how captivating a large greenhouse filled with butterflies would be to our two-year-olds. If the butterflies had been mounted in a display case, we wouldn’t have lasted long. However, our little ones were actually quite interested in seeing the different butterflies flitting around. This location was truly an oasis in the middle of town. We had the greenhouse to ourselves, so we were free to loiter, circle, pause, ponder, discuss, photograph, and meander for as long as we wanted. My little A. loved the fish in the small pond, and requested that we go back to see them after a snack break, though I know she enjoyed seeing all the butterflies, too. The vegetation was breathtaking: lush greens and vibrant flowers of all shapes, textures, and colors.
Both my friend and I agreed we would love to return to the Butterfly Estates, and thought that even our older children (ages 7-9) would have a good time! Besides, who can say no to a snack or treat stop in the adjacent cafe or ice cream shop?
I also look forward to talking more with A. about the symbolism of the butterfly: as it transforms and is remade into a new creation, a thing of greater beauty, something that can soar. It’s hard not to think about the transformation that takes place in one’s heart, when that heart belongs to God. I hope that when people consider my life, they will see not what I have done, but what God has done and is doing in and through me.