Slice of Life – Flowers for Butterfly

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 13 July 2021

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower…”

Today, I hadn’t considered a slice of life I wanted to share, but then I saw the quote Kathleen wrote on the post and I liked it. I let that be my inspiration. First, I read “The Butterfly” by Hans Christian Andersen–the fairy tale from where the quote came. Butterfly is looking for a spouse among the flowers, but doesn’t find one he wants to settle down with. Finally, he gets pinned down and stuck indoors. Here is a sweet passage about the daisy:

The French call this flower Marguerite and say that it can prophesy. Lovers pluck off the leaves, and as they pluck each leaf they ask a question about their sweethearts, thus: “Does he or she love me? Dearly? Distractedly? Very much? A little? Not at all?” and so on. Each one speaks these words in his own language.
The butterfly came, also, to Marguerite to inquire, but he did not pluck off her leaves; he pressed a kiss on each of them, for he thought there was always more to be done by kindness.

Yesterday I watched an art project video that included grounding oneself in the earth, and I wrote about it here. But I did not take time yesterday to go outside, as it takes quite a few hundred steps to get past the concrete and bricks that surround me. Instead, I just stayed home and did the art project.

Today, however, I did go sit in a garden. I thought I’d look for a companion for Butterfly. There were so many possibilities…

The frangipani, or plumeria, so splendid that it needs two magnificent names to handle its impact. Long-lasting and sweet-smelling like the flower garlands around the necks of celebrants and honorees.

The impatiens are anything but impatient. They hold their hand open wide and welcoming. At the same time, they line the sidewalks like strong little bodybuilders willingly doing the heavy-lifting in this summertime heat.

The intoxicating oleander, beautiful but bitter.

The bougainvillea running all over the yard like a wild party, but they are ready with sharp claws if you take advantage.

The tiny bouquet-within-a-flower of the lantana, a medley of colors. They seem so wholesome, a homespun treasure.

I couldn’t decide either. I just pressed a kiss on each one and left them in peace.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life – Flowers for Butterfly

  1. Denise, your flower commentary is delightful! I especially like your passage about the impatiens and your use of similes throughout your piece.

  2. I was thinking about the butterflies this morning as I walked in light rain through the small neighborhood wetland. Bees and flies were holding tight to stems with their wings closed tight over their back like a raincoat. But where were the butterflies finding refuge from the rain? How long could they afford to hunker down without nourishment?

    I love going along with you on your walk and your description of all the flowers that received your kiss.

    1. Thank you, Mary Lee. That is a great thought about what do the butterflies go during the rain. I love imagining the bees and flies hanging on tight with their raincoat wings protecting them.

  3. Your love for your flowers to know their names and appreciate their physical features reflects a tenderness and care. Thanks for sharing! Is there way to label each picture for those of us who are not as literate in horticulture? 🌸

    1. Thank you, Jackie. I have never felt so literate in plants, but I guess I have learned a few. I’ll write the names here from left to right and to to bottom.

      1&2 plumeria
      3 I don’t know
      4 impatiens
      5 oleander
      6 bougainvillea
      7 lantana
      8 I don’t know
      9 bougainvillea

  4. Such a sweet slice. I look at the butterflies on the flowers in the garden differently after reading it.

    1. Thank you, Terje. I miss butterflies. I don’t go to the garden often, so I don’t know if they see butterflies. The friends who live there are in the U.S. now.

  5. Denise, I’m glad you were able to get out and get into a garden — it looks like it was worth the walk! I appreciate how you took the quote from the TWT post and used it for your inspiration. Too often I just glance past things like that (I did at least read it this time), but the poster decided it was worth sharing and I doubt they’re often wrong! Thank you for sharing your flowers with us!

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