Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tattered and Torn

by Donna L. Watkins

© 2006 Donna L. Watkins - Tattered Swallowtail
As usual this morning, I walked out the door, grabbed the scissors that lies behind a cherub on our front porch bench, and headed down the steps and walk to the butterfly bushes.

The smell of the buddleia flowers, as I deadhead to keep the plant profusely blooming, is heavenly. All the cares of yesterdays fade when I can bury my nose inside the blossoms so loved by bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds.

This Great Spangled Fritillary has been an annual visitor, second in popularity next to the swallowtails. They all love the butterfly bushes (buddleias).

Butterfly bushes are considered invasives in some areas, so I make sure I provide no seeds to form only to be carried away by some bird and planted some place where they will not be a blessing as they are in our yard.

Though the aromatherapy itself is enough to drive me out of the house early in the morning, being surrounded by flittering butterflies is a definite attraction also. I've noticed there are many different butterfly personalities. Some float around from bush to bush and plant to plant like they are gliding through life with great peace in their hearts. Others flit about like an overly-energetic child, even colliding with others of their particular species.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail which is our state butterfly here in Virginia is one of those peaceful gliders. They seem to be able to take life as it comes, deal with it and keep on moving through until it's time for them to pass on to Butterfly Heaven.

© 2006 Donna L. Watkins - Tattered Swallowtail
We've had a number of tattered and torn butterflies passing through. I watch them with much attention to detail and find that they are doing exactly what the beautiful butterflies are doing. It's what butterflies were made to do.

The average life span of an adult butterfly is only one to two weeks. Seemingly nothing in our eyes compared to our average life span.

It made me ponder what my own reaction is when I get tattered and torn by life nipping at my heels. When I feel like I've had a chunk of who I am taken away, what do I do? The butterflies know what to do. They keep doing what they know to do. We were created by the same Creator that made the butterflies and I know that within us is the ability to keep on doing what we know to do .... AND to do it with peace in our souls.

We can take life's challenges and use them as stepping stones, like the donkey that fell into a dry well. After the farmer tried without success to get him out and no longer heard the donkey's cries, he decided to fill up the well with dirt as a memorial. As he shoveled dirt in, it came down on the tired, hungry, thirsty and worn out donkey's back. With all that the donkey could must he shook off each shovelful of dirt and stepped on it. It wasn't long until he could see that he was rising closer to the top of the well, so he just kept shaking it off and stepping on it.

© 2006 Donna L. Watkins - Tattered Swallowtail
I think we can muster our determination in any situation to keep doing the simple, routine, and mundane things in life while we deal with the wolves around us. In doing so, we will find peace and joy in the midst of it all and we will be fed the dew of Heaven as our Father watches over us and provides us nectar that provides Living Water to flow through us.

Tattered and torn? It doesn't matter. Our time, like the butterflies, is very short here on earth in comparison to Eternity, so we need to redeem our time wisely while we are here and be about our Father's business. We can float and fly on in peace regardless of the storms and wolves that may be nipping at your heels.

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