I recently read an article (here) about the tragic disappearance of monarch butterflies. A genetically engineered corn plant is producing a bacterial toxin that kills butterfly larva while protecting the corn plan. The author goes on to say that perhaps this is a warning bell. But I’m not here to tell you about the politics and environmental impact of GMO’s. As I read that article I realized that I actually couldn’t remember the last time I saw a butterfly. We had spent the past 5 weeks camping in parts of the Okanagan, BC. An area of Canada that grows some of the most amazing produce like apples, peaches, cherries and wine grapes and I saw no butterflies. Then with a heavy heart I realized, I haven’t felt butterflies in a long time either. In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt the flutter.
That fluttering feeling in the pit of your belly that starts slow like a pot of water just before it boils. Tiny little bubbles floating to the top that turn into a whirl pool of excitement.
You take a deep breath and try to slow your heart rate only to find that breathing makes them multiply. So what makes them disappear? Am I too old for butterflies? (you better not say yes!)
I thought back over the years…The first time the boy you have a crush on looks at you and smiles. The night before you get to go on a vacation. The 5 minutes before walking into a job interview. The first day of school. Sitting at the top of a black diamond run. Waiting for a blind date to arrive. A first kiss.
Where have all the butterflies gone? Am I, like the GMO corn plant, making some sort of toxin that kills them?
I think that I am a somewhat exciting person with experiences and people in my life that make me tingle and smile and happy with anticipation. I like AND love my husband. I still get excited when he wants to take me out for a date. We make love often (in my opinion anyway) and I enjoy every moment. I travel with and more importantly, without my family. I find time and places to retreat and recharge my batteries. But still no butterflies. I have waited and searched and craved for the feeling of fluttering and sadly, no butterflies.
So it must be the toxins. My body is making toxins that are killing my butterflies. After years of stress and roller coaster rides with health, money and kids perhaps I’ve grown jaded to the emotion of anticipation or belly churning excitement. All the noise from things I have no control over has blanketed my butterflies like the foam from a fire extinguisher. Making their wings too heavy to flutter. How did I let this happen?
I miss the butterflies both the belly and the pollinating variety.
Maybe one day the crops and I will be rid of the toxins and the butterflies will return.
So tell me, do you have butterflies? What makes them fly?
(Image courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)