The painted ladies are out in full force in Southern California. Reportedly they they sprang into existence in the deserts of Mexico and are now traveling on their way to Oregon. These lovely little ladies are similar in color to the monarch butterfly but about the size of a very large moth. And there are thousands upon thousands of them making the journey north right now.
Yesterday I stood outside on the patio of the tallest building on campus as a fluid cloud of hundreds of them seem to catch some sort of a jet stream, propelling them upwards just inches from where I stood. It was an unexpected spiritual experience to find oneself directly in the path of these beautiful, gentle creatures on a mission. I stood absolutely still as a passive, appreciative observer.
Later on the drive home I witnessed even more of these little ladies flying across the crowded eight lane freeway during rush hour traffic. I physically winced at the thought of my car windshield coming between them and their destination hundreds of miles north of here. There were plenty of drivers that didn’t seem to notice (how could you not?) or care one way or the other that we were caught up in the midst of this rarely occurring phenomenon. Perhaps they needed to be somewhere more than I did on this Friday night. It was the 405 freeway after all and not a woodsy nature trail.
So it is with us when preoccupied with life dictates, demands, and deadlines. Forging ahead is what we know to do. And on those days the smaller and weaker among us, even though directly in our path, may go unnoticed or unheeded or worst of all, may get crushed. Of course we’re never on an intentional collision course with these. But, sadly, collisions happen. Unintended consequences occur. However, to be even momentarily mindful is to magnify the less visible among us. Appreciating the “smalls” has to be intentional if there is to be any impact of their presence made on us at all. And surely if we are not mindful while moving purposefully and passionately through this life the impact will be made upon them.
Something to ponder.