When the Perfect Metaphor Raggedly Flies By
So yeah, I’ll just cut to the chase, I’ve been having a hard time lately. Moving, work, life, storms, general state of politics, hades-like heat in the Bay Area, all of it. Stress. Anxiety. Insomnia. It all just got on top of me, and stood on my neck.
Some days I’m stronger than others, but last week the final drop of strong independent woman inside of me got used up, and I broke. I had been in a prolonged email squabble with a really challenging coworker and I hit a wall. I totally collapsed into tears.
Sobbing, heaving, inconsolable tears. Not in front of the coworker, at least. But still. It was what I believe the kids these days call an ugly cry. Full on.
For a while I was so down, ragged and lost that I thought I might be losing that small tenuous grasp I have on sanity. I was actually pretty scared.
But through some tough love from The Good Man, some actual sleep (I swear lack of sleep would make the most calm person into a raving psychotic), and doing a much better job taking care of myself, I found my way back. Mostly.
I mean, it’s still there at the edges, the crazy I mean. This is the absolutely busiest time of year at my job and things always go a little pear shaped in September anyway. Tempers are quick for everyone and feelings are a little raw.
This too shall pass, it always does. I mean, October 1 is only three weeks away. I can survive three weeks, right?
Today, this lovely Saturday afternoon, when I should have been doing work but just couldn’t bring myself to sit in front of a computer, I instead sat on my back deck with camera in hand, trying to photograph hummingbirds. Not an easy thing, and I’m learning a lot about both the birds and who I am as a photographer.
I shared one I really liked on all the social medias.
Here is another:
Today as I sat and watched and listened and kept my eyes open for the hummingbirds, another animal caught my eye: A Monarch butterfly.
A sure sign of pending Autumn, the monarch. They are special to me in so many ways, not the least of which is how closely tied they are to Dia de los Muertos in the Mexican culture.
I silently wished for the Monarch to land and let me get some photos.
Well, I got my wish, just not quite in the way I expected.
The butterfly flew in listlessly, bumped into a wall, ricocheted and then landed on the side of the deck.
As I got closer, snapping quickly with my telephoto, I soon realized the issue.
“We have an injured warrior out here,” I texted to The Good Man.
I wondered what had happened to this beautiful animal. Did it go through a rough storm? Get batted at by a sporting cat? Fight for territory with another butterfly? Or was it just at the end of a good life?
What sort of hell had this little guy gone through, and how was it still flying?
After some Googling, I tried making some nectar and coaxing it into a box, but alas, no. It mustered up some of its last strength and flew off.
I was left sort of sad, wanting to give the injured insect a safe haven. Wishing I had just left it alone.
But as it flew off on one good wing, I couldn’t help but admire its tenacity.
A tenacity I wish I could find. Or perhaps find a little more of.
May I (and you and we) find the strength to fly on our own battered wings. May my poor ragged butterfly inspire you as it did me.