Visit From a Butterfly

butterfly visitJohn took this photo 8 years ago during a month-long job in the mountains of Colorado. We were brought in to replace a series of retaining walls that had failed within a short time of being built. We were about a week in to the job when we became aware of some conflicting information between the client and architect that effectively put us in an uncomfortable position. In hindsight, it wasn’t really a big deal but, in the moment, I was getting pretty stressed out about what to do. This is where the picture comes in.

I was about to put another stone in the wall when this little winged creature kept flitting around my head. I initially waved it off but it was persistent. Finally, I stopped and it landed on my hand. I remember holding my breath for a moment as it brought me back into the present. I sat down and just looked at this little butterfly as it just perched on my hand, opening and closing its wings. I remember being there for about 10 minutes, just breathing and looking at it, no real thoughts going through my mind.

After a while it dawned on me that all the stress I had about this situation with the architect had completely left me, and it was at that moment that the butterfly took wing and flew off. Thinking back, it was clear that the simple act of coming to the present moment had a profound impact on the way I felt and the spaciousness with which I entered back into building the wall. It was as if I shed all the difficulty of a situation that really had no bearing on us anyway, and that allowed me to go through my day with more lightness and joy. It was a short moment, but a beautiful gift.