Bountiful Butterflies

pearl crescent butterflies

Fortunately for me, it’s been a very good summer for butterflies around my house. I started seeing monarchs in early July and there have been tons of little white and yellow butterflies flying around since late spring. One type of butterfly in particular has been especially abundant this year and while I call them mini monarchs, they’re actually called Pearl Crescent butterflies.

I think the butterflies like my property so much because I don’t mow as fanatically as my neighbors and therefore have a decent crop of “weeds” such as dandelions, clover, plantains and goldenrod. Thanks to consuming local honey in my tea every morning for the past year, I no longer have allergy issues so none of these plants bother me by their appearance or their pollen. The butterflies and bees find their pollen quite appealing and I’m happy to provide what they need to thrive.

For reasons I don’t entirely understand, the little Pearl Crescent butterflies love my driveway, especially the area around my car. Every time I go out to my car on a warm day, the little orange and black butterflies fly up in a cloud and “swarm” about in confusion as I navigate carefully to avoid stepping on them. There are also a large number of the butterflies in my yard whenever I take Jazzmin out and I can’t keep from smiling when they flutter about me as if saying “Hello!”

pearl crescent butterflies

pearl crescent butterflies

pearl crescent butterfliesButterflies have always been a positive sign for me as they remind me that those who have passed on, including my father, are always with me and are bringing great things into my life on their beautiful, delicate wings. I’m still struggling with the parting of ways I’ve experienced with my formerly close friend and seeing butterflies every day helps compensate for no longer talking to that person every day as I used to.

Sometimes it feels like the butterflies go out of their way to circle around me and make their presence known, monarchs especially, and I appreciate nature’s creatures supporting me through all the challenges I’ve faced in my life.

The abundance of turkeys

two turkeys crossing road

Usually when I ask to see a specific animal as a sign I ask for a hawk, heron, eagle, owl or butterfly. I can honestly say I’ve never asked to see a turkey, but I certainly take it as a sign when I see them. Lately I’ve been seeing quite a few turkeys and this tells me that the universe is trying to send me a message.

There’s a family of turkeys that lives on the farmer’s land behind my house and for the past month or more, I’ve seen them crossing the field almost every day. Sometimes there are two adult turkeys, sometimes there are four, and at last count, there were eight baby turkeys. I enjoy watching them move across the field and often find their feathers when I take Jazzmin on walks up the farmer’s access road.

Outside of the field behind my house, I’ve also been seeing turkeys on my trips to New England. During the July trip with my girls to New England a turkey flew across the road on the drive out in an area where they’d had to blast away rock to make room for the road. On our most recent trip, I saw two turkeys in the shoulder of the expressway just standing in the grass. Then later a male turkey crossed the road right in front of us when we were on our way back from lunch at Friendly’s in Amesbury. He came out of the tree shadows on a sunny day so I almost didn’t see him in time to stop, but when I did stop, he just gave me an unimpressed look and walked nonchalantly across the road.

This past Saturday evening I decided to take Jazzmin for a walk up the farmer’s road and we’d only walk about 50 feet up it when I started hearing rustling in the grass field on the other side of the trees. I stopped to listen and soon heard inquisitive clucking noises. Rising up on my tiptoes, I was just able to see a male turkey’s head looking at me over the slight rise at the edge of the road. Smiling I settled back onto the heels of my feet and decided to stand there and wait quietly for him to continue his journey.

As we stood there listening, I heard the rustling move a bit further down the tree line and within moments, a single male turkey emerged from the trees and crossed the farmer’s road. Two more adult turkeys followed and then the younger turkeys scampered quickly across the road, some of them taking flight because they were unsure if we were going to move toward them. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a turkey fly, but they’re not the most graceful creatures and I always admire their efforts to get airborne.

turkey1 turkey3 turkey4

I was smiling through the whole experience while Jazz whimpered a bit because she wanted to chase the big birds and I wouldn’t let her. Once the turkeys were gone, we turned back down the trail and continued our walk where we saw several butterflies, deer and a hawk. It was certainly one of the most interesting walks I’ve had in a while!

Turkeys are a symbol of abundance and the universe is going to great efforts to remind me of the abundance in my life with all the recent turkey sightings. I know I have many blessings and the universe wants me to remember them all even when I go through tough times. I have two amazing daughters, a great family, good friends, a loving loyal pup, three cats that make my life a daily adventure, my own home and a job as a writer, which is so much more than I ever imagined I’d have. Despite any challenges I face, I will continue to have a good heart, the best intentions, a strong spirit, a vibrant energy and the stubbornly tenacious willpower that’s gotten me this far and that will carry me into whatever the future holds.

Getting back up

plum island sunset

Sometimes we can be so focused on seeing the good in people that we fail to see the bad, and other times we can focus too much on the bad and not see the good in people. It’s challenging to find a balance. I try to always see the good in people even though I’ve dealt with my share that didn’t have the best intentions.

When it comes to friendships, I value quality over quantity and I therefore have a rather small circle of friends. That circle has waxed and waned like the moon through the years but until recently, I thought I’d finally found a handful of friends that I could trust, that were good people, that cared about me and that would have my back. One of those friends turned out to not be the person I thought and learning the truth sent my world spinning and my steps faltering.

The thing about me though is that despite learning the truth, I don’t wish that person any ill and I still believe they’re a good person to those they genuinely care about. I know that I have to move on with my life and take everything I learned through their friendship as a lesson. Am I hurting? Of course. Yet somehow, I always find the strength to stand back up after falling down or being knocked down. After all, it’s not the number of times we fall down that matters, it’s how many times we get back up that counts. I’ll get back up every single time.

I continue to have a good, strong heart and I know that I’ll learn and grow from that chapter of my life. In fact, rather than wallow in misery after learning the truth, I focused on happiness and savoring every moment I had with my daughters on our recent vacation. I breathed in the ocean air, smiled at the waves, basked in the sunshine and blue skies and most importantly, loved, laughed with and hugged my girls. They are and always will be my biggest blessings and I’m eternally grateful for them!

girls at plum island

My daughters playing in the evening waves of Plum Island, MA.

It would be easy to feel sad and alone now that my girls are off with their father for the weekend, I no longer have the main friend I talked to daily and it’s just me and the animals, but it’s an absolutely beautiful day and I have more than enough to keep me busy.

Seeking the positive boost of endorphins from exercise, I did my Zumba step workout this morning and I was happily exhausted when I finished. I have writing work to do and college assignments to finish up and of course I’ll be taking Jazzmin on a nice, long walk later today. Then there’s my beading projects to keep my mind occupied and my spirit peaceful. Every time I walk out the door, I’m greeted by a plethora of butterflies, birds, blue sky, clouds and warm breezes reminding me that I’m never really alone and that the universe hasn’t forgotten me and still has amazing plans for me.

I’ve been through worse than this and survived so I know I’ll be splendiferous again eventually. What matters most is that not only have I gotten back on my feet, but that I’ve chosen to continue to walk the high road and will continue to focus on seeing the good in people and the world.