Butterflies… Why butterflies?

So when I was looking back at my first week as a freelance writer (that feels so good to write) I debated changing the name of my Blog to something more informative than simply “Butterflies”. However, anything I came up with was rather long and as I was able to obtain a domain name for my Blog using Butterflies I decided against it.

But I did say that I’d explain the significance of them for me. So here goes…

Butterflies have multiple meanings for me:

The first meaning is the one that most people think of. The emergence of the butterfly from a chrysalis is often seen as the personification of new life. I have started my life over again many times. Either literally, immigrating from England to Canada, or after a marriage breakdown; or figuratively as I’ve matured and developed emotionally and spiritually.

Further, I like the recognition of the fact that it is hard work for the butterfly to emerge from the chrysalis and that the caterpillar has to be willing to change.

The second meaning for me is one that many people are never aware of. Most butterflies are deaf. They hear through vibrations yet the world around them doesn’t recognize this. So for me, the butterfly is a representation of my deafness, and my ‘passing’ in a hearing world. The Canadian Hearing Society, alongside many other organizations around the world that support the deaf, use the butterfly as logo as a result.

The third meaning is that of the Butterfly Effect. This is the theory that a tornado in Texas could be caused by a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil. Simply, that one small thing can have a huge impact even on something far away and seemingly unrelated. As somebody who lives with multiple health conditions my life feels like the epitomization of the Butterfly Effect. My current situation is a case in point. An anaphylactic reaction 6 weeks ago is still causing an impact in all other areas of my life.

I’ve noticed that butterflies are quite often seen as a symbol of hope by many  other people with chronic health conditions too.

More recently, when I added fibromyalgia to my list of diagnoses I was amused to find that the symbol used for raising awareness of this condition is a purple butterfly. I was already aware that a teal butterfly is used to raise awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD/CPTSD) and a purple butterfly for Rheumatoid Arthritis. So with a handful of different colours, butterflies have a fourth meaning for me.

The fifth reason is that their symmetry appeals to me. While there are asymmetrical butterflies, they are unusual, and the majority of butterflies do have identical wing patterns. As somebody who likes structure, rules and order this has great appeal to me. I loved the art classes in school where we would create butterflies with different art techniques and would get incredibly frustrated if my butterfly did not come out truly symmetrical.

Lastly, I simply find butterflies beautiful. So much so, that on a recent trip to Mackinac Island, in Michigan, USA I couldn’t resist visiting the butterfly house.

It was the first time that I had taken Kai, my Service Dog, anywhere like this and I was quite prepared to have to leave with him immediately. We’d already experienced a ferry ride, horses, bikes and carriage rides for the first time that day. However, he was incredible.

I suspect that he is now the focal point of a number of tourists photographs that day.

He simply walked around the house with me, then lay in a down at my side while the butterflies flew all around  landing on both of us numerous times.

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When we left, the attendant was laughing as she commented that it was the first time that she’d had to do a hitch-hiker butterfly check on a dog!

Anyway, it’s a short post today as I’ve been working on some of my other new writing projects which hopefully I’ll be able to post successes about in the next few weeks and months.

Hopefully this week will bring some answers for my ongoing health issues and the impact of the Butterfly Effect will start being positive for my health, rather than negative!

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