I’ve been seeing a lot of these little guys in my nest lately. They are passion butterflies. Each year just as our passionflower vines are healthy and putting out their first flowers, swarms of beautiful dusty orange butterflies come from who knows where to lay their eggs. I am so amazed each time it happens. I don’t see these butterflies all year, but for this time. They come for the scent of the passionflower. One year after harvesting and letting the plant dry for over a week, as I was garbling the leaves off the branches, out of nowhere, after not seeing them for weeks, I was suddenly swarmed by them. Nature rocks me to my core once again. After laying their eggs, which are tiny little yellow dots resembling ice cream sprinkles, the vines are covered in these amazing thick caterpillars who do their best to eat everything on the vine. Soon, within the secret garden of our patio paradise, chrysalises are hidden under leaves and between blades of grass.
But this year, the oddest thing has happened. I am finding chrysalises with butterflies who were unable to get out all over the place. Some simply dried up and never got to the point of escape, other half emerged, some all but one little edge of wing. It is deeply saddening, and I have spent many hours on the patio looking into these tiny magnificent creatures who were smart enough to fly all this way by the scent of this leaf, yet cannot emerge into change of a new life in this desert heat.
And as nature always does when we pay attention, I see myself reflected in these tiny creatures. This summer was especially hard on us. And it got us looking at our future more deeply. Figuring out just what we wanted for ourselves and our little family. And, well, we’ve decided to move. There is so much more to say about how and why we came to our decision, and I’ve sat here in front of the dreaded blinking curser not knowing how to say it well enough. With all the eloquence and layers it deserves. But this is a secret I’ve been holding for some time and think it’s just time to say it simply and plainly. We are planning our move back to Washington. The details of where exactly and when we are still working out, but we are hoping for early summer next year, thus giving us one full year of summer weather before we settle in for our first real winter in almost a decade.
The decision wasn’t an easy one, but one we had to make. Because, in the words of Patti Digh, life is a verb and sometimes you just have to push play.