Butterflies, much like the phoenix, are a symbol of transformation. Though, commonly associated with Spring, they are perhaps best tied to all year, as their life, too, is a cycle that often reflects our own and the turning of the wheel of the year. As Fall and harvest come to pass and we approach the winter and hibernation, we, too, have feasted and now tuned inward, as the caterpillar becoming the chrysalis.
Inspired by this post by The Enchanted Wren!
Recently, I was inspired by an article my boyfriend sent me to write another book, one of the many in the works, about the unusual and unique butterflies and moths that are all around. While I was thinking about this, it struck me that a fairy would more likely be a moth than a butterfly? It seems an odd thought, but hear me out.
There are many legends about fairies going underground or disappearing all together, right? Reasons are left to speculations and those vary, but generally it is agreed upon that you don’t see fairies unless you believe in them and they want you to see them. Fairies are masters of hiding, right?
Not to out my winged friends, but if you were going to hide, the best place to do it would be in plain sight. Moths, in particular, are geniuses when it comes to this, and I don’t just mean camouflage.
Where I live, we have this miraculous moth called a hummingbird moth. They only come out at dusk in the summer. They look, move, and act like hummingbirds.
Moths are known for copying behavior of other insects and animals. Now, consider how many times have we seen fairies depicted as, or with features inspired by, other animals or creatures.
Clap your hands if you believe! 😉
Why is believing in the fantastical so bad? Why, when we get older, must we lose the magic? Things like fairies or Santa aren’t lies. They are believing in something bigger than yourself, concepts we should embody in the everyday. And, as children, when we are allowed to believe in the extraordinary, we come to find the extraordinary in the everyday as adults.
With the holidays just around the corner, when I think of the embodiment of Christmas it is no longer the large man with a white beard and red hat. It’s my mother in his place. It’s the incredible lengths she went to so my brother and I could believe. And, now, it’s also myself I see in that place, with my large sack of gifts (most of which are already wrapped).
Was it a lie? For her to ask “what did Santa bring you?” To have us believe in magic and possibility and hope? There are those who would say it was, that there was a seed of dishonesty. But, it was never about what was wrapped under the tree. It’s what it meant. Like, what it meant if mom could still cook the turkey every Thanksgiving. We might not have had milk in our fridge. Mom might have been sick. But, we had Christmas.
When we later came to the realization on our own that Santa wasn’t real, the magic was still there, if not more so, to discover everything my mother did to make sure we could still believe. And, from the time my brother and I were old enough to know mom was Santa, we were also old enough to know we were, too. Everyone has a little bit of Santa in them.
There is magic in the world if we know where to look. Children know where to look. We just forget when we’re older. Buttercups telling us who loves butter and who doesn’t. Butterflies and fireflies are fairies in disguise. The sun setting and the moon rising. A wish on a dandelion. Leafs changing and snow falling. That such a big sunflower can come from such as tiny seed.
Every day is a miracle. Fairies and Santa Clause are the embodiment of them. And just because I’m older doesn’t mean I don’t still believe and doesn’t mean the magic has disappeared. It’s only become stronger.
On Fairy Wings and Acorn Hats
The magic behind it all!