Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Tiger Swallowtail on the Sheer Lace Curtain

My husband and I agreed to have "dates." He can ask me out. I can ask him out. For our first date, we had dinner then talked late into the evening, until we reached the point of frustration brought about by my husband first saying he understands why I've been angry but then going on to show he truly doesn't understand. I left, going back to my place, feeling as if we are forever going to be two ships passing in the dark. For our second date, we went on a yard sale adventure then followed that up with dinner at my place. The yard sale adventure went just fine. The dinner was good. My husband, though, thought my asking him over for dinner meant intimacy afterward. When I declined, he became upset. We parted ways. Again.

We really are so far apart on just about every aspect of life. At this point, I'm not sure if we will ever be on the same page again. Perhaps we have never been on the same page. Perhaps for whatever reason, I just had it in my head that we were when we really were not.

The time we spent together going from yard sale to yard sale was fun. I found a wonderful set of heavy, wooden deck chairs, as well as a wrought iron table with two chairs to make the deck a nice gathering spot. It was at that table my husband and I ate dinner later that evening. It was at that table my husband and I found ourselves once again misunderstanding each other.

Earlier, before my husband arrived for dinner, I had returned to the house after spending several hours hunting for treasures with him. Those hours were filled with laughter and kindness. He happily drove me wherever I asked. He helped load the furniture, at one point a bulky mid-century arm chair I scored for $18. He then helped unload all the pieces, carrying them to where I pointed on the deck or in the house. When we decided we were finished with the yard sales, we went back to his place where I got in my Jeep, and we parted ways. He to a benefit for a long-time friend suffering from throat cancer. Me with Angel Baby to a movie matinee.

After the movie, I made my way back to my place, hoping to get a few hours of quiet. When I walked into my bedroom, a flutter at the corner of my eye caught my attention. I looked over to the sheer lace curtain panel at the sliding glass doors. A bright yellow tiger swallowtail fluttered its wings. I marveled at the vibrant hue. I wondered how it came to be in my bedroom. No windows were open. No doors left ajar. The place had been closed up tight.

Yet there in front of me, clinging to the lace curtain, was this beautiful creature. I slowly opened the heavy glass door, hoping to not send the butterfly up to the ceiling. It closed its wings then opened them but didn't seem concerned. I cupped my hands around it, gently pulling it away from the curtain, and stepped out onto the deck. I took it over to the planter where I'd put basil and mint, and flattened my hand to allow it to find its way onto the soil. Almost as soon as it felt the soil beneath its feet, the swallowtail took flight, rising up, going almost to the top of the nearest tree. I watched it land on a leaf, but again, almost as soon as it landed, it took flight, disappearing in the mass of leaves.

I think about that butterfly, still wondering how it came to be in my bedroom though all the doors and windows were closed. I think about it having gone through its own stages of transformation, eventually finding freedom. Perhaps I'm not so different. Perhaps I'm going through my own transformation and one day will find the courage to accept the freedom being set in front of me.

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