Goodness but that sounds like the title to a book.

I think it would be about a little deaf girl who loved to sit in her Grandmother’s butterfly garden. She would spend much of her time there and her family worried that she could become a taciturn recluse if she continued on in this manner. But she seemed happy when she was with the butterflies. She became a renowned artist who specialized in watercolor paintings of butterflies. Whenever she painted butterflies she felt and almost heard a symphony pouring out of her brush. But then one day…

Oh never mind.

So yesterday some friends of ours offered to take the boys for several hours so I could enjoy some rare time alone to either just enjoy the silence or to get some work done. As it was, I did both.

I did some reading. I reveled in the strange and unfamiliar sound of silence. I did some writing. I soaked in the solitude that comes but a drop at a time. I cleaned the school room and washed some dishes. And for a moment I sat down in silence to look out my back window at my garden. I looked down at one of my flower bushes and discovered there a colorful butterfly.


Being alone and having the freedom to drop everything and do so, I went and grabbed my camera and headed out into the backyard.

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Here he is about to take off for another flower…
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It was a rare warm day. These warm days are fewer and further between with Fall fully underway (it’s actually supposed to snow again tonight.) I went out into that yard and stayed out there for the next forty-five minutes, snapping pictures and watching the bugs busily do their work.

He and Mister Bee would occasionally duke it out over a particular flower. One would think that the bees would always win, considering their more substantial size. But the butterflies don’t give up their turf so easily. They try to ignore the bees and wave them off with their flapping wings some of the time. Other times they just consent to share.

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I love how the colors of the butterflies and bees and these yellow flowers go together so flawlessly.

After snapping a few pictures of the butterfly on the yellow flowers, I followed him over to my purple flowers (forgive me for forgetting all of the flower names!) which I discovered to be a much more popular bush. Play the game of count the bugs with me won’t you?….

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I love digital cameras because you can keep taking pictures at no extra charge…

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I just love how fastidious these butterflies are about their work. They must know that their time is short until winter falls. If only I cared so much about getting the laundry or dishes done in a timely manner. Look at him busily going about his job. He doesn’t care about what Mister Bee thinks…

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Except of course when he does care…

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Looks like the flapping of the wings doesn’t always win the flower… After all, bees are of course, quite fastidious also…

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So today we are back to our normal selves, no more pesky silence… no spending contemplative time in the garden with the butterflies… but that’s okay… how special and golden would silence be if it was more common? And how miserable would I be without these people wreaking all sorts of havoc? As the singer/song writer, Jonathan Coulton says, [my kids] “ruined everything in the most beautiful way…” I wouldn’t choose daily butterfly time or long periods of silence over the beautiful crazy hectic mess that is life with my boys… not in a million years. But, hey, I’ll take just one now and then…

6 thoughts on “Silence and the Butterflies

  1. Those are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! My three year old was in awe of the beautiful butterflies. We went to a place that is full of butterflies in June and she loved that as well..but this is better to know that the butterflies were in your own backyard! We have one or two that come about to our flower garden but that is far and few between. Thank you for sharing your beautiful flowers with us.

  2. I can’t believe you got such great photos! Neither the bees or butterflies will hold still long enough for me to get a good enough picture.

  3. Nan…stunning…these photos are STUNNING!The silence did ya good, girlie-Q…these are inspirational (bugs can sometimes reflect the imagination of God like nothing else!).

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