The butterflies are leaving

As my first proper blog post you could be forgiven for guessing this would be about those flighty butterflies that tumble around in our bellies and give us that delightful mix of anxiety & excitement as we approach something new for the first time.

True perhaps, there is a bit of that going on as I type this, but no, I mean the butterflies, the real butterflies.

They are leaving.

The migration started two days ago.

Sitting squished into my tuk tuk alongside a weeks’ supply of fruit and veg from the market, daydreaming out the side, I became aware that reality had merged with the dream. As if showing on a screensaver, or some idylic opening credits to a rom-com film set in the rolling countryside, snaking past me was a steady confetti of flowers floating in the breeze. But not flowers blown from a tree; butterflies.

Thousands and thousands of butterflies.

Gracefully dancing in an ebbing and flowing ribbon over the tea plantation hills, upwards and onward.

It was captivating. Having stopped the tuk tuk to watch, it was hard not to imagine the reasons behind their filght:

Perhaps they sense a change in the weather.

Perhaps they head up country to some spiraling festival of hilltop mating & winged celebration.

Perhaps it is inbuilt deep down into their genetic code that on this day, of this month, they must make a move.

Locally it is believed they take a pilgrimage over Mount Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak), worshipping in the Budda’s footsteps. Certainly, it is not hard to imagine a spiritul guidence in their choreographed dance.

Today, two days later, it rained. Not the delicate, leaf dripping rain. But the tree felling, river-swelling rain that floods the burrows and softens the ground for days to come.

And as I prepare to press ‘publish’ on this first post, I wonder whether the the rain has wiped out both those butterflies and mine.


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