Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Recapture the Wonder

Recapture the Wonder, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
This past monday, I captured this beautiful cluster of butterflies dancing along the bank of the Shaver's Fork of the Cheat River, just outside where my family's cabin lies.

Seeing these butterflies in this picture reminded me of a story my old chief used to tell about how easy it is to lose wonder in our contemporary world. I would like to share a little bit of the story with you. It goes a little something like this . . .

Do you remember the first time you saw a butterfly? Maybe you were four or five years old. Maybe you uttered a word like "Wow!" more as a gasp or a whisper than an exclamation. Or maybe you just stood there with a big wide open look of awe at something so delicate and so beautiful. You didn't necessarily have a question to ask about what you saw, you were simply struck with amazement at it's simple beauty.

And then someone tells you, "That's a butterfly." When you hear it, you respond with "Wow! Butterfly!" You name it. And it still fills your heart with wonder.

And then, something changes as you get older. You lose the awe. You begin to discover that the butterfly is a monarch butterfly, or another type. (Like this one--I have no idea what it is? Maybe a Spicebush Swallowtail?) We get caught up in facts.

We learn that the butterfly is really just a phase in the metamorphic life of a caterpillar. Instead of being caught up in the awe of it all, we get bogged down in the facts. The irony is that these details should inspire us to greater awe, but often we get more caught up in the fact that we "know" what it is we are looking at.

After we go through all of this classification and learn the details, we end up at a place where we often say--that's just a butterfly. We lose the wonder of it all.

But what if we were to take time out and appreciate it? What if we could take a step back and enjoy the butterfly for its beaut? What if as adults, we took time to look at a butterfly with the eyes of a child? What if we allowed the physical world to bring us to a place of awe before our great Creator?

Do something today. Take a step outside. Look at a tree. Or a butterfly. Don't classify it. Just enjoy and appreciate the design and the beauty of what is before you. Take a moment and let yourself be awed. Let it bring you to a place not only in awe of what dances before your eyes, but let it take you to a place of greater wonder of our fantastically creative God.


Rebecca said...

I don't know, the first thing I said when I saw your picture was "Wow!" Of course, some of that awe was in that you caught so many of them in the same frame. Great photo.

I also wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying my time volunteering at so.zo. It's a really great space and I love the mission that you have in mind for it!

BigMama said...

Fantastic pic! We do tend to get lost in the analytical rather than the sheer beauty so often don't we?

I do remember a few summers ago. My youngest daughter saw a really spectacular moth and came running to the backyard talking about the "scary butterfly." It was MUCH larger than what we normally see around here, and it just took her completely by surprise. In that afternoon, we were able to simply marvel at the beauty of the creature itself.

Thanks for the reminder!

chanchanchepon said...

Thanks for the comments ladies.

Becca--Glad you are involved with sozo too. I hope it is a point of refreshment in your week.

bigmama--it's always good to be reminded of the beautiful world in which we live. Glad your youngest daughter could be a reminder for you as well!