I believe in “the butterfly effect.” We are all connected, the natural world our bond. Knowing the natural world is a midlife revelation to me. I was raised a fifties’ girl. “Don’t get dirty” was Mother’s mantra. Mud pies were not on my menu. Mercifully, by my forties, Nature, my other mother, freed me and gradually revealed her wonders and secrets.
In my Hoosier woodland home, the first spring whistle of the oriole signals the predawn touchdown of its Mexican flight. Another morning a child in Chiapas heard his call. I catch the indigo glow of a bunting at the feeder and imagine it glimpsed in the rainforest by a Yanomami woman, who also believes nature is sacred. Sandhill Cranes grace me with a flyover south across a gap in the trees and I’m transported to the banks of the Rio Grande.
I plant a tree and a Kenyan girl becomes my soul sister. The drop of water reflecting on its leaf could have been in the River Tigris last month and cycle on to the Zambian forest to quench a honeybee. Or will it be in the vapor of a sunset’s pastel hue?
Walking down the lane to view the Hunter’s Moon takes me across a bridge of light to all moon-gazers. Its force lures more than the tides. The Big Dipper points me true north as it does an outback adventurer. As nature photographer, Frans Lanting, portrays in Life: A Journey Through Time, “the animal world today lives on oxygen released by algae, bacteria, and plants. Their waste is our breath; our exhalation is theirs.”
If I feel these connections, I can’t be the only one. What is possible as this collective chrysalis forms across the world? The life cycle continues with a granddaughter, our first-born. I will share her stages and nature’s truths, sending up another butterfly to flutter its wings.
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