You might think this post is about Emma’s first full day of school, with lunch and recess and everything. It’s not. It’s about the butterfly garden at the Como Zoo — our visit to which was appropriately overshadowed by Gabe’s illness and sudden eruption in the zoo lobby. Jodi wasn’t convinced she wanted to go through the butterfly house, which looks like a giant monarch caterpillar made of yellow, white and black striped mesh. I thought the kids would like it, though, so we got in line. Turns out I may have liked it best.
I should mention that, as we walked from the car to the zoo, we followed a monarch flip-fluttering on the breeze, brilliant orange against the green of the trees along the walk. It sparked something in me — just for a second, I wanted to follow it.
So — we entered the butterfly garden, and we’re surrounded. Broad-winged blue butterflies. Little reds and yellows. So many you can hear their wing beats — so delicate we were instructed not to touch them or brush them off, so strong they dogfight the breezes and come out on top. We saw young butterflies courting, and an old giant with wings like frayed denim flap his death-dance in the shady dirt beneath the flowers. Each one seemed as lovely and surprising and unique as summer day — soaring or topsy-turvy, feasting or resting, brilliant or melancholy …
Quite a collection — of Lepidotera and long summer days. Hope yours was good, too.