I’m standing at the window, looking out at the beautiful scenery of the woods. I can hear the replay of my phone conversation with my brother, who now lives in Tennessee, “I understand your love for the hills of Tennessee; I have fallen in love with the South as well”. My brother laughs, “It is beautiful, isn’t it, Sis?” My eye catches the movement of the most vibrant yellow butterfly I have ever seen. My heart soars at the sight of a butterfly!
I stood watching the butterfly, appreciating the fluid flow of the wings as it rested on the flowers, and then observing the swift movements about the yard. It was truly amazing to watch. The color of the neon yellow butterfly popped against the greens and browns of the woods behind the house. Some believe that God sends us signs, I’m not sure, but I do believe, that just as the rainbow represents a promise, the butterfly is also a promise. A beautiful promise of transformation in nature, it’s also my personal representation of transformation.
The butterfly icon is an important part of the Widow’s Walk logo, as cliché as it may seem, it is deeply symbolic of the widow’s walk. I can remember so clearly the early days of my widowhood; how devastating it was for me to lose my spouse, for my children to lose their father. There were many days that I thought the best of life was now behind me. Some days I moved at the pace of a caterpillar nearing the end of its life cycle. I became so enveloped in my grief all this while thinking, I am at the end.
I wasn’t at the end….it was only the beginning. I had a new life waiting to be revealed, brought about because of the sting of death, an ending of life as it was known. I have experienced the transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly. The butterfly reminds me from where I have come and where I am going.
As I stood watching the yellow butterfly, another butterfly of like coloring landed on the same planter. It was glorious to watch the two butterflies take flight and dance about the yard. They would fly in concert, part ways, and come back together to dance again in the sky. It was truly delightful to watch the two brightly colored butterflies. After several minutes, the butterflies parted ways as they flew off into the forest. Again, I was reminded of the butterfly in my logo.
In the early days and months of widowhood, a widow will crawl through each day, thinking, “I am at the end”. As the transformation begins she takes flight, it’s incredible for the widow to discover her new beginning and purpose. It is truly beautiful when a widow learns to take flight and sees the splendor that remains. The division of sorrow is wonderful to watch, one widow “crawling”, another “flying”, eventually, both will take flight as a result of transformation. The mission of Widow’s Walk is to support the widow as she “flies” into the beauty of her tomorrow.
What the caterpillar perceives as the end, the Master calls, only the beginning….. (Unknown)
We are not at the end…..only at the beginning, the beginning of promise.