The makeshift menagerie

The makeshift menagerie

Just when even I had begun to wonder if we had purchased a “bad” batch of butterflies, the first butterfly burst out of its chrysalis and back into the world. Overnight two more emerged and there is once again hope for the remaining two. They are very still, likely exhausted from the hard work of transformation.
Currently in our home we have the 3 butterflies, two gerbils we are keeping for a friend who is Ireland, our own two cats and two dogs. We have a fairly impressive collection of animals. I’ve not even mentioned the spider that terrified M last night because it was hanging out over her bed or the stink bug that terrified A when she discovered it on her shoe box. It is a house full of life to be sure.
So, in keeping with literary analogies, you know the next step in keeping the butterflies, is letting them go. To keep them here would mean a miserable existence for them. What a life, to have wings and never really get to fly. Selfishly, we’d like to keep them here, to observe for our own enjoyment, what the remainder of their life is like. After all, don’t we deserve that? We’ve nurtured them, cared for them, fretted over them. What about our delight?
As it turns out, the cross stitch pillow is right, if you love something you have to set it free. Especially if that something, or someone, is better off without you.
We will enjoy our last day or so, with our house full of life, watching the butterflies learn to use their wings, feeding them so they can go out and do amazing butterfly things. Pollinate the hell out of some flowers. And though it is not as heartbreaking as letting go of the people that we’ve had to let go of, it reminds us that nurturing must be selfless in order to be really nurturing.


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