Today is my last post about beautiful Mackinac Island, located between Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas.
I surely enjoyed a delightful visit there on my way back home to L’Anse in the Upper Peninsula a week or two ago.
Today might you enjoy pausing to watch butterflies flitting at the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly House on the island? If you pay a tad bit more when you purchase your horse-drawn carriage ride tickets, you may wander through the Butterfly House dreaming butterfly dreams.
That’s what I did.
If you visit a magical butterfly garden, may I offer advice?
Don’t rush in through the glass door in your usual busy mode.
If possible, slow down before you enter the butterfly abode.
Find a bench upon which to sit.
If no bench presents itself, find a tree and lean back against it, not worrying, no never worrying about grass stains, unless you’re wearing white pants. (If you’re wearing white, lean against the tree, feeling its bark with your hands.)
Breathe deeply, dear butterfly seeker.
They are waiting for you.
But first you must release your mind-filled-with-busy-thoughts.
Butterflies have a gift to offer us, but first we must enter their world of silent wings.
You have a choice as you wait to enter the Butterfly World. You might pause and think about your life briefly. Check in with your heart (which is starting to beat slower as you breathe, breathe, in, out, deeper now, feel it in your belly, breathe, deeper, deeper) and ask your heart, “What do you want?”
Ask yourself what you want in your life, now, right now, in this moment before you gently open the door to the Butterfly House. Listen in the slow beating silence to any answers which might arise. Don’t force an answer. Just ask the question and see.
Our heart always appreciates when we remember to acknowledge its deepest desire.
After your heart has spoken, or beaten softly, with steady assurance above sweet birdsong, enter the silence beneath your chattering thoughts.
Just watch the thoughts arise.
You can label them, “thought, thought, thought” or just watch the thoughts without attaching any importance to them. Don’t think of them as your thoughts. Think of them as a parade of thoughts just offering their opinion, not really important.
Keep your attention on your breath.
Deeper now, deeper, deeper.
You are now entering the Butterfly Silence.
It is almost time to enter their magical world.
When your feet are ready–not the thoughts, the thoughts always think they’re ready–move slowly toward the beckoning door.
Feel the earth beneath your shoes.
Feel your beating heart.
The relaxing silence in your mind.
Open the door to your Butterfly World and step in.
Yes, step in.
Move to the left, just a bit, away from the door, and stand silently.
Let your eyes meet the butterflies in flight, the butterflies resting, the butterflies suckling sweet flower nectar.
Perhaps you might whisper a silent sentence of gratitude.
Thank the Universe for butterflies.
Thank your heart for beating, for aliveness today.
Thank the song of butterfly wings–and the possibility of being guided deeper into your heart’s deepest desire, your heart’s deepest longing.
Now move softly, on your sturdy feet, through the butterfly house. No photography–yet. You might wait to bring forth your camera into their abode–until you’ve received your butterfly communion, your winged gift of spirit.
Simply walk clockwise or counter-clockwise through the flitting fluttering hushed world, feeling your legs, your feet, your hands, your invisible wings.
Yes, dear butterfly visitor, you too sprout invisible wings.
Can you sense them rising off your shoulders toward the heavens?
Can you sense them leading you to the freedom of open endless skies?
When you pass the sprite, pat his head.
Is your heart singing?
Take in the Butterfly Gardens with one look, one large, encompassing, all-seeing gaze.
Listen deep inside.
Can you hear the butterflies speaking to you?
Perhaps they’ll speak in human words, but usually they hum into your feelings, into the pockets of resistance in your bones, into any sadness in your chest. They hum with their rainbow wings beating faster than your eyes can blink, they hum into your marrow, relaxing, oh, yes, relaxing you so deeply that if an absorbed photographer accidentally shoves you or a child cries in dismay you allow it, yes, allow it, deeper and deeper as part of this Butterfly Heaven working its magic on levels we can’t imagine.
Feel your wings opening, opening.
Yes, the butterfly magic is working now.
You’ll fly to new vistas.
You’ll dance with abandon.
You’ll wear a butterfly smile as you walk back into the busy world, a gentle butterfly smile flitting at the corners of your mouth, sweet nectar blessing the world through your eyes.
You may take photos now–if it feels right.
You may talk with other friends of butterflies in the glass house.
You may even reach out your hand and try to touch, yes touch, the flitting butterflies, the magical creatures, the flower-blessed guides that will always, forevermore, lead you fearlessly toward a future you’ve never even imagined in your wildest butterfly dreams.
When it’s time to leave–your feet will know when it’s time–move slowly back into your world, shutting the door gently behind you, making sure no blue or orange or yellow creatures swarm against your legs, your chest, your head. Their spirit will help you alight upwards, urging you to take flight, to never look back, to fulfill the destiny written on your invisible wings, guiding you on, forward, always toward the fulfillment of your deepest desire.
Kathy – what a beautiful post! I think this is the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly House. Is that correct – the one up by our condo? Or is it the one downtown? Regardless, I’ll never go into either one again with the same attitude, thanks to your words.
Bree, it’s not the one downtown. Maybe it IS the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly House? I’ll change it in the text and tags. Thank you for liking this. I feel like the butterflies wrote this blog, not me. 🙂
Ha ha. We’re going to have to stop duplicating each other. Did you see my post today? Too funny. Very nice job with the photos and post. Thanks for sharing.
I think if I was there, leaving would be impossible! What a fantastic experience – great photos too! We have visiting butterflies in our garden, but nothing like this place – wow!
Thank you for the wonderful visit to the butterfly house. It reminded me of the butterfly garden we visited on Vancouver Island a few years ago; such lovely, graceful creatures are butterflies. Yesterday I sat on my deck, trying to capture a picture of a large yellow butterfly (perhaps a Swallowtail?) that was fluttering by. Alas, no success.
Oh gosh I need your gentle influence in my life. Even in my reading I wasn’t stopping as I should to pause. I was rushing through the doors far ahead of you. Once through the doors a slice of orange appeared in my open hand and I sat down on the grass. Only then did I quiet my thoughts and my breathing. I breathed in and out very quietly but deeply and marvelled as lovely butterflies gently landed on the orange and my hand. They came and went, gently rising into the air and floating back down. There are no thoughts in my usually chattering brain — just peace.
I have never been in a butterfly house, but now I will keep my eyes open for one to visit.
For some reason, by woodsy world is filled with the common butterflies this year … a good crop of them.
I have always wondered how they got the name “butterfly”???
Butterflies are a favorite of mine. We are blessed with a LOT of butterflies here; and yet, most of those you are sharing are NOT familiar to me. I’ve been in search of the almost extinct Diana butterflies here, without success; though we have the perfect habitat and they have been native here, in the past. We have lots and lots of Swallowtails, Monarchs and Fritillaries among many others.
We learned how to burn our pastures last fall; and are on a one-third, 3-year rotation, with 3 separate pasture areas. This is expected to increase the wildflowers for our pollinators. Wildflower seed is VERY expensive. I also turned a waste area with a low-water creek crossing, into a Bird, Bee & Butterfly Garden.
Butterflies touch our hearts with the realization of the possibility for metamorphosis. The earthbound caterpillar thinks, when it enters the cocoon, that this is “the end”. Something magical and mysterious takes place in there; and out comes a totally different creature, no longer earthbound but flying free. Somehow, we understand that we are those caterpillars; and that we too can become butterflies.
Kathy – Thank you SO much for this beautiful journey. It means so much to me as i have mourned the flood damage in my beautiful Duluth. Nature takes away and gives back in such extraordinary ways. These photos with your meditative words are truly inspirational! They are the perfect solution to the photos I’ve been receiving of Duluth’s destruction. I can almost hear the whisper of wings as I peruse these photos.
So beautiful and peaceful. Perfect for a Friday afternoon. Thank you for taking me on this journey that I missed while visiting the island.
Another beautiful, peaceful post. Thank you, Kathy. I think I’ll fly away with the beautiful butterflies now, to see and experience whatever dreams they want to show me. 🙂
What a lovely meditation! Your words resonated perfectly with me today, as exactly the message I needed to hear. Thank you, Kathy!
Kathy – Your photographs are astoundingly gorgeous! I think you have enough shots here for a butterfly calendar. Further, I think a visit to RedBubble to make said calendars available to your readers is in order 🙂
Beautiful post, Kathy. I love butterflies and it is strange to me now that in my childhood and teens I was terrified of them!
Wow! Thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures. I’ve always believed butterflies are like dreams that fly. 🙂
Another beautiful, peaceful post. Being in a butterfly house is a wonderful experience, especially if one yearns for peace and beauty. Thanks for the lovely pictures.
Sigh. Love butterfly houses and did now know there was one on the island. Thanks for sharing.
PS: Really lovely photos…you and your camera do good work.
They’re beautiful! We didn’t go to the butterfly house when we were there….wish we did!
I love this. I love butterfly sanctuaries. I’ve been to a couple. The feeling you describe is perfect. I can feel my spirit relax and breathe deeply when I walk into one of these places – it truly soothes my soul.
I am glad you all enjoyed the butterfly post. Thank you…the butterflies thank you…your very own soul thanks you for finding a few minutes of quiet in your day to just be present. I know I am looking at butterflies outside our house in a more appreciative way, realizing that they give blessings simply by being who they are. Thanks again!
What a beautiful set of pictures. I read this just as I am off to the Emergency department and this a joy to think about
These are gorgeous photos! I love butterflies! It’s amazing how many beautiful species there are!
Years ago, we went to the butterfly room of the Vancouver Zoo. It was wonderful. Our own zoo has been collecting donations so it can build our own butterfly house. I can hardly wait! 🙂
thanks again to the butterfly lovers who paused here. Winged blessings to all of you!
Love this, Kathy! The photos are incredible, and the prose is so delicate and peaceful! A perfect homage to the butterfly house. 🙂
The butterflies flutter and thank you all, in peace.
Thank you Kathy for this beautifully relaxing butterfly visit. The pictures are incredible and show how the butterflies are so unique and delicate. I’ve been seeing an abundance of butterflies this summer…both here and at Rick’s. It’s been like a gift. Also while at Rick’s, we saw a “fetch” (that’s what google says anyway) of dragonflies. There were far too many to count! We sat on the deck and watched in amazement as they buzzed here and there. They stayed for 2 days and then most of them went on their way. We enjoyed their company while trying to stay cool in the pool (it was soooooo hot! 110 2 days in a row and over 104 most of the other days!). I’ve never seen so many dragonflies in one place before. My heart felt such gratitude for their presence. Just like with the butterflies. ♥
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