The remaining butterfly, its wings glistening in the sun, escaped the deadly toll of Luna’s mouth and flew off alone. What were two was now one, just like that.
It happens all the time, all around us, every minute of every day. It’s nature. It’s the circle of life. Until it happens to us.
Life is precious and fragile, and we never know when, where, or how it will end.
But there’s a difference between us and them. Animals (and presumably insects) live in the present moment all the time – every moment. My kind (and murderous) dog isn’t suffering from regret or shame for the accident she had yesterday or worried that she won’t get fed tomorrow. She lives every moment, whether it’s chewing a stick, eating a butterfly, or chasing a tennis ball, completely in the moment. I’m guessing the same is true for the butterflies as well.
We’re different because we can consciously choose to regret the past, worry about the future, or live in the present moment. With that gift of choice, we also get to appreciate beauty, feel gratitude, and show kindness.
I’m not sure if the surviving butterfly mourned the loss of his mate, or if butterflies mourn at all. But I do know there are animals that do mourn the loss of their children and companions.
When tragedy strikes and takes a loved one from us as unfairly as Luna took the butterfly, we mourn the loss, but we also mourn more.
We mourn that we didn’t appreciate as much as we should have when we had the chance.
We mourn that we didn’t live in the moment with them as much as we could have.
We mourn that we didn’t love or forgive as much as we should have, and now that chance is gone.
The difference between us and them is that we are blessed with the freedom to choose, the freedom to decide. The freedom to be present. The freedom to be kind. To freedom to be appreciative. The freedom to be grateful. The freedom to forgive. The freedom to Love.
More often than not, when those tragic moments happen to us, we mourn that in those moments, we made the wrong choice.
Or I could be wrong…