Epiphany 2022

Crosswords in Epiphany

Everyone has a butterfly story. Perhaps it should be saved until Easter, but mine happened now.

I enjoy some of the PBS specials following the 7:00pm nightly news. Last week the NOVA special “Butterfly Blueprint” took me by surprise. After watching the show, I felt like I had just heard a powerful sermon. The program included several scientists around the country and world who are studying butterflies. The University of Michigan, The Paris Institute of Nanoscience, a site in Germany, and the University of Rochester, NY are included. 

I guess the topic for me is “Science and Religion.” The photography of moths and butterflies from around the planet was itself inspirational. I think I heard that there are 160,000 species of butterflies. Amazing beauty and variety of colors and designs! Who created all of these? I am familiar with the more common Monarch, but the hundreds of others are overwhelming.

This past Summer I was sitting in an Adirondack chair in the front yard enjoying the warm sun shine, and a Monarch fluttered around and then landed on the arm of the chair as if to say, “Well, hello there! I’m glad you’re back home.” I felt a connection to this lovely delicate creature and his/her visitation out of nowhere. I keep a patch of Milkweed out back and this year noticed a few more of these mysterious beings around, especially in the gardens.

I am reminded of the source of silk thread as I heard about the research at Tufts University on the use of a derivative in human transplants. Then there are the experiments on wings from the Glass Wing and Cabbage White for improved solar panels. Or the possibility of implants to treat Glaucoma. Or a genetic component to detect chemical warfare. The list goes on.

A year ago I was at Schoodic to see the surf, I thought. As I wandered around the granite ledges, I spotted a Monarch playing in a small outcrop of thistles. I took out my phone and the lovely orange and black resident captured my attention and camera lens for an extended time. Another sermon unaware, connecting me unexpectedly to the very ground of my being.

The 3,000 mile migration trek through genetic temperature sensitivity defies my small mind.

I am reminded how important it is to be grounded in the Creator’s beautiful and complex Creation. The interrelationship of butterflies to the ecosystem of the planet makes me think about being a better steward in small ways I can. During these days of depressing COVID chaos and controversy from disease and disaster all around, learning from that fragile fluttering friend can connect me to this beautifully designed Creation and the source of my life and Love.

Blessed to be sharing “this fragile earth, our island home,”  Fr. Rick