violette

violette
Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Butterflies and bees

Last year I wrote about ordinary, everyday happiness, inspired by a rather sweet image by Leunig. Having described some of my own moments of delight and wonder, I ended by saying they were all ordinary, all easily overlooked or taken for granted, especially when times seem unremittingly grim - but all present and woven into the very fabric of daily life. And in the dark, unremittingly grim and difficult times in which we currently live, and to which there seems no imminent end, holding on to and sharing those spirit-lifting moments, those sources of low-key bliss, seems especially crucial.

And right now, regardless of the grimness, the heatwave, and my encroaching tiredness and irritability, my spirits are lifted each morning, as drawing back my curtains I see the lavender outside my window, and the earliest of that day's butterflies and bees. From morning through to late evening there are usually at least a dozen bees, plus the occasional, outnumbered butterfly, busily swooping, bloom-hopping or nuzzling intently. And as I re-read that line about outnumbered butterflies I glance up, and see two cabbage whites engaged in an exuberantly fluttering pas de deux above the bush, before separating and diving in - and for a brief moment I am caught up in that dance, and the unexpected wonder of seeing it. 

Yes, it is heartening to see them all, especially here, in this busy part of a city full of concrete and fumes, but even more so at a time when their very existence is endangered, thanks to pesticides, climate change and loss of habitats and sources of pollen. Despite all threats and dangers there they still are, buzzing and fluttering, dancing and pollinating, still somehow doing their bit to maintain our increasingly fragile ecosystem - and delighting this onlooker in the process. Their survival, in spite of all threats, is for me a glimmer of light in an increasingly dark world.

So I watch them buzzing around from my window; or I go out, water the lavender or zoom in to take photos, and they simply shrug, nonchalantly fan out their wings and fly onto the next flower. And even when their sudden movement ruins what could otherwise have been the perfect photo I don't mind. Instead, my spirits rising with them, I experience something of what Leunig describes as Three minutes of happiness borrowed from a dog. 

So what are your sources of everyday delight, those heart-lifting moments which enhance your day? And how can you share the joy, and in so doing, help those glimmers of light to glow just that little bit brighter...?


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