A few years ago, I made my first trip to Mexico city.
Dave had been wanting me to experience Mexico City. It is huge… the largest city in our hemisphere and the third largest in the world. I’m not all that into large (huge) cities, but we are reading a book (The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver) about Frida and Diego and Trotsky and the story draws me to see this place. And Dave loves it there.
As we had been talking about our itinerary, it came to me that we could see the butterflies! I love monarch butterflies and the story of them wintering in Mexico intrigues me.
I have always noticed and loved the monarchs. As I planned that trip, I remembered why. It was the monarch butterfly I “raised” as a girl in Texas.
Somehow, I found a monarch caterpillar and brought it home. My daddy became interested as well and he searched for milkweed plants to bring home to feed my little “pet”. It was not easy, but someone he worked with had a home near a railroad track where there were milkweed plants. It was not a short process, but my daddy was in it with me for the long haul, finding food every day or so for my hungry caterpillar.
And one day, it made a chrysalis. And slept in it, for what seemed, to a young girl, a very, very long time.
One Sunday morning, the chrysalis was black. I was concerned….was it dead? We had to leave it and go to church, with me very concerned. But,when we returned home, it was emerging! That caterpillar had, indeed, transformed into a beautiful, black and orange, Monarch butterfly.
I was in awe. What a wonder!
The new butterfly came out wet, with wings scrunched. But we watched as it dried and stretched and unfolded, my Daddy and me. The two of us, together, opened the jar lid and watched as my wonderful butterfly flew away… in all its splendor.
Now, I remember why I am intrigued by monarch butterflies. It is about a sweet memory of a quiet and private man who surprised me, occasionally.