the dance of the butterflies


My garden was overrun by beautiful white butterflies this morning. They fluttered by with great intent, all going in the same direction. Swift little things on paper-thin wings all emerged at the same time and headed for something so innate they simply cannot go against it. The dance of the butterfly.

One stopped for a moment on a blade of grass and to my intense joy, hopped onto my outstretched finger and just sat there, softly swaying in the breeze. I guess it’s just that kind of day. A beautiful quiet after the madness of feeding 15 hungry souls with a determination to be jolly and rip open the myriad presents piled under the tree.

The tree that now looks somewhat bare and bereft – after holding centre stage for some weeks now, it’s doomed to be undressed and stuffed away in a cupboard for a whole year. We’ll forget the magic of Christmas just as soon as the last of the leftovers have been scraped off a plate.

Yesterday was filled with the deeply rich smells of cooking, the spiritually delightful bubble of laughter and the musical tinkle of clinked glasses. Cries of delight at well though presents uncovered and a background of painstakingly collected music filtered through the day. Dancing like a dervish to a Brazilian-infused African beat with the little person in my life while others wandered around chatting and dipping in to pieces of conversation will forever be entwined with that magical time of Christmas when each of us shines just a little brighter and makes that extra effort to love.

And yet, just tomorrow, the world continues on. Drifting along in life, we follow a tide of must-dos and have-tos into another year. As I watched those ethereal creatures whizz past me this morning, I hoped, prayed, wished for one of them to turn around and go the other way. I wanted to see some rebellion, a little spirit of individualism.

I guess I’m not quite ready for the New Year. I want to stay here, in this space between parties, before reality rears its urgent head again. As beautiful and inevitable as it is, I just don’t want to do that butterfly dance again. I’d rather do my own dance, a dance egged on by a sultry beat, peppered with energising lilts and a rush of passion. Perhaps before 2012 closes its eyes for the last time, I’ll find that rhythm – the one that’s just slightly different from the one everyone else in this city is dancing to. Something off-beat, cheeky and wholly my own.

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