On Butterflies…

They say that butterflies represent the human soul. Every time a chrysalis bursts open a new soul is born – carried forth by the butterfly on whose transitory wings it perches. This, I think is rather lovely and bestows a generous amount of responsibility onto such a fleeting insect! They have a few, short days to realise their purpose. The humble butterfly also carries the weight of chaos theory – the idea that something so small as a butterfly beating its wings can change the course of events via a ripple effect. The notion that the smallest of occurrences can lead to a complete divergence in course.

My sister has a beautiful butterfly that she bought at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I was so envious when she brought it home, its iridescent blue shone out through the display box and I was enraptured.

So, when I went to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History I was delighted to see lots of butterflies on display. They really are lovely to look at and I marvelled at nature’s intelligence and aesthetic vision at having produced such creatures. Whether these small insects can cause chaos and change the course of history I am not sure but looking closely at the shining brilliance of their wings I like to think that my soul was butterfly-borne, even if in my dreams.


9 thoughts on “On Butterflies…

  1. I love butterflies. When I was a kid, my big sister got a "butterfly garden", this small plastic thing with chrysalises inside, and butterflies emerged from them. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Those butterflies were beautiful.

  2. What beautiful photos. I love butterflies as well. Have you ever read A Girl of the Limberlost? She really collects more moths than butterflies, but it was the first book I read as a child that dealt with butterfly/moth collecting.

  3. What a beautiful post. I never knew butterflies were suppoused to represent souls, but what a lovely thought. Grow more flowers, get more souls (not in a creepy soul catching way you udnerstand).

  4. What a delightful and interesting post – the top photo is sublime. The variety and beauty of those butterflies is astonishing – it must be a great place to visit.I try to attract as many butterflies to the garden as I can by planting things they like. There is nothing better than seeing butterflies gently flitting around on a summer's day – sigh!Jeanne x

  5. Oh how beautiful! I love butterflies too, and all the wonderful and intriguing imagery that goes with. Have you seen the Diving Bell and the Butterfly? I was reminded of it by your post. I didn't even know there was a natural history museum in Oxford – although the Pitt Rivers is one of my favourite places in the world, and I think it has butterflies too. Or maybe I'm muddling them up and I have been there after all! Sigh… I've not been down there forever and ever and ever. Your photos are gorgeous. What a perfect blue. Perfect.

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