Here is a note that I left for myself. It reads “Moth of the winter. Butterfly of the frost.”
I was outside last week when the sleet started. I was sitting alone on a bench in the woods– feeling very low and gazing despondently at the brittle, barren branches that surrounded me on all sides– when the ice began to fall. As the wind froze my face and the cold pellets bounced off of the ground all around me, it seemed like the perfect time for me to look towards the cloudy sky and ask aloud if things could possibly get any worse.
Later in the day, the clouds cleared away and the Sun found its place in the sky, as it always does eventually. The temperature warmed to just above the freezing mark and the gusty wind subsided, leaving only a slight breeze in its wake. It was about this time– late afternoon– when I was walking to my car, ready to head home after a long, strenuous day. All day I had been looking for a sign of hope, and while anything obvious had remained elusive, I was glad that at least the worst of the storm seemed to have past. As I reached to open my car door, I was halted by an erratic fluttering of wings appearing suddenly in front of my eyes. I took a dazed step back, and stared confused at what I saw. It was a large blue moth, floating through the air, hovering directly above my silver, snow-coated car. It took a second for me to notice the novelty. This was late December, the dead of winter, yet this tiny creature had found a way to fly. Butterfly wings beating to the backdrop of snow. I quickly made a note in my phone.
Of course, I know it’s true that we see what we want to see in our lives. But maybe, just maybe, it is also true that sometimes we are shown the things that we need to see. I was inspired by the sight that I beheld that afternoon, by the tiny, blue moth that survived the sleet. Today is January first. This New Year, I resolve that I will spread my wings in the cold, and fly, against all odds, to new heights. Like a butterfly in the frost.
I will have my next short fiction story up by Thursday night. It will play on these themes of transformation and ascertaining the truth behind the things we see.