Somewhere in the corner of my mind I knew that the world was populated with a variety of beautiful butterflies having seen pictures in books and magazines, though I myself hardly got to see any in real life, other than a few plain-Janes (Any Janes around please don’t take offense. Personally I think we all are unique in our own ways), tiny white ones, and yellow, flitting around merrily. I have seen some really colorful ones at Butterfly Parks. But that they populated my part of the world too, as exquisite ones as ever, I had no idea at all. I mean, how would I? I have spent most of my childhood indoors with my nose buried in books. In those days, girls were not encouraged to go out and explore. They were strictly told to be indoors, help the elders and at the most, were grudgingly allowed to read under their watchful eyes. Not that I find things have changed all that much in the present for the majority of them. Girls are always shooed indoors, boys go to the playground and have a ball. Okay I will keep THAT rant for another day. Today I have better, happier things to talk about.
So there I was living happily ignorant, going about thinking pretty butterflies lived in exotic lands far away. It took Luci to come home to change all that. Did I just hear someone new ask, ‘Who is Luci?’ Don’t you worry newbies. With one whole month of blogging ahead, you will definitely get to hear more about Luci the Labrador (link). Tiny pup that she was at the time, she needed to be chaperoned while she went out to do her ‘business’. Having nothing better to do, I lugged my camera along to click pictures of the flowers as Luci nosed around taking her own sweet time. Well I (sheepishly) admit as her fond mother, that I ended up taking more pictures of her than anything else on these excursions.
It is on these outings with Luci that I started noticing the butterflies. Such pretty ones and varied too. What a fool I had been sitting indoors while a world lay unexplored right outside in my garden! Blogging and Facebook and friends were all alright, but butterflies were something else (In the days to come I was to discover the same thing about birds). My interest so far had been confined to trees and gazing at them. I love trees. Someone said it seems that they are poems written on Earth. I have no doubts about that, they indeed are!
Well, soon, I started loving butterflies too, and chasing them with my camera (initially a point-and-shoot one and then a DSLR). The very observant Luci noticed the extra attention the flowers and butterflies were getting from her Mom. She promptly started chewing up the flowers (link) that I focused the camera on, and chased the butterflies away by bounding over to them, just the very moment I was to click. So most of the time I ended up with a blurry picture of Luci rather than a pretty butterfly. That’s when I changed strategy and started being stealthy about there I was focusing the camera. The games one has to play in life! Funny, eh?
Now that Luci is grown up, she is not too bothered about the flowers and butterflies taking so much of my attention. She has equally interesting things to do: dig, chase cats and crows, bark at the next-door dogs, all in my vicinity, of course. And THAT I feel tells us something. When we have our own interests in life, we don’t grudge others’ their life. This is something more of the parents, especially the mothers in our culture need to learn. We find they are totally (and unnaturally) focused (and encouraged to be proud of it), on their children to the exclusion of everything else, that they become such clingy, guilt-inducing, nosy, cranky, fault-finding people. No prizes for guessing who bears the brunt, yes, the daughter-in-law of course.
(Well, to tell you the truth, that came as a surprise to me as well, to start a post on butterflies and end it with daughters-in-law! Next time I will have to grit my teeth and not let my post ‘write itself’!)
This post is part of Ultimate Blog Challenge.