If you ever want to experience butterflies in an amazing way, travel to Pine Mountain, Georgia to see the Callaway Gardens Butterfly Pavillion (www.callawaygardens.com). This is a shot of one of the gestation stages of butterfly development. In the Pavillion they are hanging all together in one area, and as they break free you see them flying around as new butterflies. I stood there for a few minutes and could see some of the cocoons wiggling from side to side as new butterflies were working to emerge. 

The Pavillion is very warm and full of beautiful plants where the butterflies circulate all over. One landed on my head, one flew right in front of my face close enough for the wing to touch my nose. It was as if I was not even noticed. They were going to do whatever butterflies do no matter who was in the area. The children who were visiting were enamored. They were flitting around and trying to touch these delicate flyers, and running to and fro as if to see the world how a butterfly sees it. If I had not had on high heels, I might have taken a shot at ‘flitting’ around the area myself. 

Butterflies have that effect on people. Maybe it is their delicate nature. Maybe it is the intricate colors in their wings. Maybe it is the way they seem to hover around beauty, and fresh things…as if the breeze from their wings stirs up joy all around them…yet looking at these cocoons you can’t really imagine any of that, especially if you have never seen a butterfly. These cocoons look crinkled and dry and dull. It’s hard to imagine that something so special comes from such humble beginnings. 

I think that could be said for many of us. If you look at the raw state we all start from – childish, young, naive, clueless – it is hard to imagine that we can ever mature into professionals and experts in what we do for a living…and yet we do. We survive years of learning by failure, trials and tribulations, peaks and valleys. We somehow find our passion after flitting from one thing to another. We learn what we like and what we are good at while trying to build a life, career, family all at the same time. We learn what we are willing to give and how much we take – hopefully giving more than we take…and we fly on. We share our joy, our energy, our colorfulness with those around us and work to make a life worth living. 

Unlike the butterfly, we have years to get all this done. And all too often we take the time we are given for granted. Though you may want to flit through life, I encourage you to focus your talents, your color, your energy, on your true passion. Make it a priority to find your gift, then give it away. Give it to someone like a butterfly gives away joy.