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Thursday, June 20, 2013

A butterfly in the lilac

Sitting behind my desk in my home office, trying to get some work done. 

I take a pause and look out the window. It's a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I let my eyes linger, carried by the soft Yanni song my iPod on shuffle decided to play this right moment. I admire the lilac tree that's in full bloom right now. It makes me smile.

That's when I notice it. The butterfly. This lilac tree is pretty enough (and fragrant enough, these days), but a butterfly? I cannot resist. I grab my camera and step outside. 

(As usual, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge it.)

Standing on the porch, I try a picture.

That's when I notice them. The "contaminants". The elements that pollute what I thought would be a perfect picture (framed by my office window, it did look perfect). My camera is blunt and ruthless: impossible to catch the pretty lilac tree and its butterfly without also getting the mulch bags, the compost bin, and the kids' hockey net. Now I'm frustrated. I wanted a nice picture!

My disappointment doesn't last long. Because... what I'm looking at right now... isn't it the picture... of my life? Mostly pretty and fragrant and luminous and joyful... but definitely not perfect. There are elements in the background that are not pleasant to the eye, but... they are there for a reason. The road to happiness implies that I either get rid of those elements (if they have no good reason of being there or have a negative impact on my life), or... that I simply embrace them with serenity.

Can you think of such elements in your life right now? 

Do you know which ones fully belong in the picture, and which ones you should get rid of?

How do you feel about it?

What do you DO about it?

Do you also give yourself the right, once in a while, for the sake of your well-being, to zoom in and focus on the beautiful parts only?

This is what I did, for a short moment, this morning:

Zoom into the beauty

Zoom in some more

Zooming in allowed me to notice something I hadn't seen. There was not one butterfly, but two! I tried to take a picture of both at the same time, but they kept flying in different directions; clearly this couple has no codependency issues!

What does this butterfly in the lilac story evoke for you today?

A change in the angle of the camera...
just like a change of point of view...
... yields a completely different image.
Do you tend to notice the mulch bags
and compost bins in your life...
... or do you turn around and enjoy the beauty?

P.-S.: Even this post is imperfect. As much as I try, the font won't uniformize. I'm not wasting any more time on this detail. I embrace imperfection!


  1. What makes life worth it are all those little moments stolen to time, isn't it?

    Life has beauty to those who are willing to notice and focus, as you put it so well.

    I think you have great "happiness abilities". =)

    1. I wouldn't have said it better, Shanti!

      Happiness abilities are something everyone can develop! :-)

  2. One must take time to smell the roses, or lilac, or apple blossoms, or lily of the valley; to watch butterflies, birds, waves, art; to listen to music and birdsongs and children playing; to enjoy an apple, a chocolate cake, asparagus or good wine; but most of all to feel the heat of the sun, the caress of the breeze...
    because life is short ;-)

    1. I obviously take after someone... thanks mom for teaching me to look at the world with those eyes since the beginnings... :-)

    2. You were obviously a gifted student

  3. Very nice imagery, Julie!

    Like the comments too :-)

  4. What a beautiful image and thought-provoking message! A good reminder to pay closer attention the "butterflies" in our lives. :)