Wherever I travel I visit the local butterfly pavilion/house/garden/sanctuary/palace, this should not be a surprise to you by now folks. My recent annual trip with my parents to Branson, Missouri always means a trip to The Butterfly Palace.

This year we only had to share the space with a handful of people on a slow day in December and of course around 1,000 butterflies. Walking around in the warm humid air, as sweat trickled down my back, I took pictures for the blog and thanked God for the miracle and beauty of the butterfly.

During the butterfly release I was blessed to meet a Butterfly Palace employee as she noticed my tattoo. Through a quick explanation of my story, honoring my babies and telling her about the meaning of butterflies to me, I made a quick connection with someone who gets it; a fellow warrior in life, a survivor of the struggle.

She soon found Ever Upward and commented:

I love your honesty and your transparency. I think if you were a butterfly you’d be a beautiful, delicate-yet-strong Glasswing!

www.everupward.org (2)And so, after a quick Google search on the Glasswing butterfly I am astonished at the home I feel in the parallels to this incredible creature.

The Glasswing butterfly has wings which are quite literally see-through. Where other butterflies have scales, the Glasswing does not. The transparent wings make it difficult to see the butterfly, at times making it appear invisible.

Not much unlike how invisible I can feel as a woman without children in our society. Often times feeling forgotten, left behind and misunderstood. I find myself fighting the urge to hustle to be seen and overwhelmed by the fear that I am invisible.

The Spanish name for the glasswing is ‘espejitos’. Literally translated, this means little mirrors.

Not much unlike how much I am constantly doing the work to see myself, to work on my own insight and improve my well-being and self; in other words owning my shit. The work of self-evaluation and self-responsibility has been the only way I have dug my way out, chosen change, embraced all the parts of my story and defined my own happy ending.www.everupward.org (1)

The Glasswing is one of the strongest species of butterflies. Although it might look delicate and perhaps even powerless, it has the ability to carry nearly 40 times its own weight. It is also very fast, with the ability to fly up to eight miles per hour for short periods of time.

Not much unlike me, I am little but strongly capable. And for those who know me well, you know that I do nothing slow…ever (sometimes to my own demise).

And so, I guess I see a lot of myself in the Glasswing butterfly and again am in complete awe of the lessons, the connections and the miracles; of this incredible life. 

And there is your biology lesson for the day ;)!

 

 

5 thoughts on “Small and Mighty

  1. Julie Sorrell says:

    Justine,
    The wonderful thing about butterflies is that, as you and I discussed that day, they are a wonderful metaphor for us humans struggling through our own transformations. They are so much more than just ‘bugs’. Every week I meet people who tell me their stories about why butterflies mean so much to them: Their grandmother loved butterflies but she passed away and so they are drawn to visit us to feel close to her; they lost a child to cancer and the butterfly is a symbol of the afterlife that child is enjoying; or they themselves are going through chemotherapy and have been told it isn’t working, that there is nothing else the doctors can do, so they come to find solace in the beauty of beating wings and the glory of a butterfly’s first flight. Today I spoke with a woman who lost her brother a few years ago and on the anniversary of his death she was placing flowers on his grave when she found a caterpillar that had exquisite beauty and exactly the color of her brother’s eyes. That small symbol of a life she mourned has given her hope and strength to carry on. So many stories. So many lives that find a reason to keep striving, as you so beautifully put it, Ever Upward!
    I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have connected with you. Thank you for the kind words about your visit. One of our missions at The Butterfly Palace is to make a connection with guests and many times we find that in doing that we are often the ones who receive encouragement, strength, and blessings ourselves. It’s amazing all that can happen because of a tiny thing with six legs and four wings!

    Julie

    Like

    1. Butterflies mean so much! That is why I did the coloring book! Sometimes don’t get the credit the truly deserve, the whole process from egg to fluttering butterfly is miraculous and I think a reminder from God that we can make it. Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing! Justine

      Like

  2. BnB says:

    So cool! The glasswing is beautiful and badass! A great lesson!

    Like

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