Sometimes I feel that people I've loved, who are gone from this earth, float back into my life from time to time.
My mother, for example, fed chickadees from her hand at home, in her pajamas. To this day I am convinced that she visits us. "Just checking in" comes the chirp from the little bird, zipping around the yard, pausing to look things over. I really think it's mother, getting an eye full. There is something reassuring about these visits — there just is!
We used to have lots of visits from monarch butterflies, but then suddenly they seemed to vanish. Still plenty of milkweed, in fact, more than ever. But no monarchs.
This year, I am happy to say, the monarchs seem to be visiting us again.
I was out back the other day working on some scatter-brained project when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, an orange flutter. I did not immediately react because I've noticed, as I age, more things flutter in and out of my vision. Nice to hear from a photographer, eh?
Anyway, turned out to be a pair of monarchs circling.
For a couple years before her passing, Joanne Wilde, a good friend, worried regularly about the absence of monarchs. I planted three butterfly bushes for her and encouraged the growth of milkweed. But the butterflies didn't return in time for Joanne to see.
The pair of monarchs stayed right next to me, never leaving each other. I couldn't help but think that Joanne, and Bill, her husband, might be drifting by. Although Bill was not a butterfly sort of guy, he was always curious and in motion, in a somewhat butterfly kind of way.
I set down my tools and enjoyed their visit. Then, the pair moved on.