I have been thinking about butterflies. Again.
I did not realise that they’d keep dipping in and out of my thoughts when this header was drawn but the coincidence makes me smile.
Chaos theories aside, an hour spent flitting about Google has proved that there’s a whole history of butterfly analogies, though the exact concept I have been searching for remains fittingly elusive –
It touches on the fleeting – and sometimes magical – nature of butterflies, but is more concerned with the importance – and the difficulty – of letting things go.
I was sitting in a friend’s garden yesterday talking about relationships and happiness, and the parts of them that it is easier to talk about on a lazy summer’s afternoon and with someone you really trust. About how elusive the magic moments in life are; and, also, about how hard it is to handle the elusiveness and resist the urge to clutch – because it is terribly difficult, I am finding, to not want to cling onto the things and the people that make you feel good –
And, as I was describing the tension inherent in trying to capture something that can not be caught and the terrifying uncertainty of it all, my friend gave me a great illustration that instantly enabled me to loosen my grip: you have to let butterflies go if you want them to soar. You have to resist the urge to capture or hold or clip the moments of magic; you just have to enjoy them for what they are.
It sounds so obvious but it is so incredibly hard.
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne