Float (and hike?) like a butterfly…

Nature is equally odd and exhilarating. For about three weeks I was a on a slight drought, hiking-wise, and made amends for it one Sunday in May. This day happened to be Mother’s Day; a day on the calendar where my soul instinctively knows to be heavy. I lost my mother to cancer seven years ago (2012), but each year, Mother’s Day gets easier to bear. This year, I was not feeling as low as previous years, which is good. Healing is taking place. The day still has a difference significance now and on this hike, God gave me something special to enjoy to change my focus.

The Sandstone Hills Trail found in the North Ranch Open Space in Thousand Oaks, CA was the setting of something I’d never experienced before. While on this short 1.6 mile loop hike, I could not help but notice that there were many butterflies along the trail. They circled and swarmed. It was on the edge of unpleasant, but then I remembered that they are butterflies and no matter what, they beautiful. I can’t boast being in the same physical shape as age 25, so along the steep incline that starts the hike I had a make a few stops to rest. It took until the third small stop to notice something: “…every time I stop…the butterflies stop.”

How strange.

I started playing with it, walking for a few paces and then stopping. Like clockwork, they would fly around while I moved and then land when I stopped. This continued throughout the entirety of the hike. Smarter more experienced minds probably know why it was happening. It was probably simple, something along the lines that they fly and relocate because they see and hear me and probably think I’m a threat. If there’s no threat moving, they feel no need to relocate. That’s my best guess. But I’m a romantic and a Disney lover so I of course loved it. The faithful, seeing-God-in-everything part of my heart (that’s just about 97% of it) thought this was a wonderful sign on Mother’s Day. Were the butterflies the spirit of my mother surrounding me? Were they the spirit of God surrounding me, reassuring me that He’s still guiding and protecting me step by step? Maybe both.

After reveling in this natural butterfly phenomenon for a few minutes, I just proceeded to do what I do on hikes, capture the landscape. I had been teasing California for a week or so, because part of the reason I had not hiked recently was because “SoCal was broken.” We hadn’t seen many sunny days and this was a welcomed return to sunset skies. Beautiful views as always and I did my best to get a still of those butterflies, but be sure to see the short video after the images:


Please enjoy the short, shaky, handheld capture of these swarming butterflies:

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