On Butterflies and Violins

I’m walking the neighborhood on one of the unusually not-as-hot days in July. I love looking at the growing blooms around my neighbors’ houses—the pink notes of shiny begonias, the bright spots of impatiens in shady yards, the unending variants of green in ferns, hostas and coleus.

I turn the corner and see the stunning purple of what look like delphiniums, their tall stems swaying in the breeze—and then I notice the gorgeous tiger swallowtail butterflies flickering in between the stalks like candle flames, light on light on a summer’s day.

I stop and watch. They latch lightly yet tightly to a bloom. One of them seems to keep its body  anchored in its chosen cluster of the bloom, allowing its wings to angle and flap, keeping balance. A light weight on a light weight.

That lightness. It resonates in my spirit like the stained-glass window illuminating the inside of an old church where I saw a candlelight performance of Vivaldi’s glorious The Four Seasons. That night, light came flying from the strings of two violins, a viola and a cello, my spirit soaring through the air with it.

Such lightness, unburdened and free, yet grounded. For me, that lightness is anchored in the one whose yoke is easy and burden light.

This month, I realized with deep gratitude that over the past season of my life, the Lord has been fulfilling His promise in Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

I didn’t know just how much I needed this restoration, this refreshing of my inner self, to paraphrase the Amplified Bible. I just knew I was thirsty, I needed more of His presence.

His restoration along the paths of righteousness is removing burdens I don’t need to carry and weights that would pull me down, upset my balance, stop the flow of internal music.

In Vivaldi’s “Spring,” birds call one to another, melody overlapping melody between two violins. In this summer season, the “deep calls to deep” cry-and-response between my spirit and God’s has created a fresh melody in my heart, one that I pray will bring new lightness to others.

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