Kukka by Sally Kilgore: Butterflies and Malaise

Kukka by Sally Kilgore: Butterflies and Malaise

ROCKWALL, TX (Aug. 18, 2022) I was under the weather this past week, on the mend now and enjoying coffee outside in the mild early morning, with Bob Kilgore, our big black and white kitty. This malaise leaves me wanting only to be still and enjoy the peace of the garden.  Blessedly, I feel no urge to leap up to pull a weed or right a drooping frond. This placidity will not last, the work drive will return with recuperation. I will enjoy these moments now.

Swooping over the wall is an enchanting blue and black butterfly, a Swallowtail of some type. She flutters and hovers round the Bougainvillea; currently enjoying its glory day as a stunner. In the dry heat, the thorny ornamental vine flashes its finery.  I ought to have grabbed my bird binoculars on my way out of the house! The urge to leap for my phone camera is instantaneous.

Instead, I remain still, coffee in hand. Choosing to sit, in the peace, and simply enjoy the movement, the delight of this creature. She is a winged enchantress, of bold, rich color and graceful maneuverings. I absorb her into my spirit, rather than imprinting her image on a screen, this time.

Black with a rich blue, she traces the breadth and outline of the spreading Bougainvillea as she flutters. She seems intent on not missing a single, fuchsia bract. As the breeze swirls, she moves spot to spot within the spiny, beautiful plant; then up and around –  around the silhouette of the spreading branches until a suitable landing spot is decided upon.  She has peace, I think. Her sole purpose to pull sustenance from the blooms here in the garden, spread the pollen. My heart stops as she moves away, but she drifts to the Rock Rose then up around the fluffy white Crape Myrtle, before returning again to the Bougainvillea.

Ah, she glides over the wall, into the countryside behind, our time together over for now. I became so involved with her and suddenly, just like that, she has gone. That’s it then. The west corner of the garden, so alive in her a moment ago, now seeming so still, without animate flitting about. No fear. When I look again, the blooms and bees and birds continue to delight.

My husband, looking out over the entire garden the other day, commented, calling our retreat “The Aviary.”  Indeed, we do gather numbers of birds and of course, the bumblebees are greedy on all the blossoms.

Butterflies, birds, bees, blooms.  All beauties that bring joy, pleasure to my spirit.

Does the butterfly need purpose other than her beauty? Yes, the pollen. As if her beauty isn’t enough? Allure and purpose, magnificent design. She glides in briefly, with grace and charm, delighting those who witness the magic, should she land on our hand, our life, for only a moment. A brief instant, exquisite, generous delicacy lands with us, fills our eyes with a spark of magic, a memory.

We don’t soon forget a butterfly lighting on us for a few moments. I recall a charmer surrounding my granddaughter one summer day. The butterfly seemed enchanted by our blonde pixy, who gently accepted the attention as the feather light, winged nymph landed in her hair, on her hand, her check, then accepting the offer of a bit of jam from her fingertip. I am certain the butterfly was madly in love. The picture in my memory so very dear.

A butterfly joined me on mild, sunny day last autumn. Reclining back into my sun faded Adirondack chair on the grass, glass of iced tea perched on the broad, wooden arm, and book in my hand, I could not concentrate on the words. The serenity of the fall garden, blue sky and cool air luring me away to another existence. I did not need a story at that moment.  The moments of calm and peace were plenty to absorb.  Until the butterfly came along – to captivate my thought.  A friendly sort, perhaps lagging in her migration, she hovered about keeping me in good company, lingering in the garden.  I relaxed, in her flitty presence and she landed on my bare toe. (Shoes do not go onto my feet until the season becomes too chill. Till then it is bare tootsies or Birkenstocks.)  From my toe, she moved up to my knee. Flitting up again, she landed on the rim of my tea glass, then onto my outstretched hand.  She stayed with me a good while, marching up and down my arm, perching on my finger, my knee. We had a brief affair. Then suddenly she was gone. Off to drift in the heady Abelia blooms, Autumn Sage and vibrant Rock Rose, before gliding out of my life, over the wall and across to the trees beyond.

This morning I sat in the summer air, thankful for the breeze. Quietly viewing the shenanigans of the Hummingbirds, Finch, Cardinals, Chickadees that populate this “aviary”.  Mockingbirds squabble on the fence, tiny Barn Swallows (I think) in the new myrtle bushes.  I am filled by the fleeting presence of this most elegant butterfly. Carrying her grace to me as she comes to the bounty provided by Mother Nature. She completes this retreat of serenity just with her presence here. Simply being her beautiful self.

I am glad I did not dash in for the camera.  I have so enjoyed soaking in the time with her.  She remains a jewel in the portion of my brain that amidst the dark and sadness in the world – shines brightly.  Cheering me on through whatever struggles, causing me smiles for no reason other than contentment.  Beauty, peace, joy exist.

The breeze is calming and the sun beginning to beat down. I wish you a spot of beauty –

better yet – a Glorious Burst of exquisite beauty and joy.  A sweet moment of peace in your day.

By Sally Kilgore of Rockwall. Sally is a former resident of Rowlett, and a recent transplant, across the lake, to Fate, Texas. She is married to her long time flame, Chris Kilgore. When not writing, gardening, filling in at the local flower shop or hanging out with grandkids, Sally devotes her time to serving Bob Kilgore, a generously sized, Tuxedo cat with panache.

Read more of her column, Kukka (Finnish for bloom or flower) at BlueRibbonNews.com. You can contact Sally at sallyakilgore@gmail.com or via her website: www.sallyakilgore.com.


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