Butterfly ©Meredith Pike-Baky, 2009

Butterfly ©Meredith Pike-Baky, 2009

Kigali, Rwanda
July 11, 2009

When I am finally still, (swum my laps, moved my chair, dried my hair, ordered my latte), when I am finally still, I see them, alone and in pairs they flutter by, wagging their wings of black and yellow, pausing in the sunshine, perching on a chairback, performing a dos-a-dos above the canna lilies.

They are there, here, circling playfully beside me, sketching a swift halo above me, inviting me to pause, to stop, to settle.

But I resist. I have much to do: clothes to wash, lists to compile, schedules to plan, friends to write.

A drive to do has been my armored vehicle for so many years. As a teenager I spent summer days in the dining room sewing clothes while my mother sat by the poolside visiting with a neighbor. As a professional I sought extra roles, precariously stretching time and taxing talent. I agreed to write two new books as a recent divorcee. And now, here, where there is so much time, very few friends, I have trouble sitting still.

My busy-ness has buoyed me in moments, months, years of questioning. What can I do? How can I be? Where should I go? These and more have kept me from joining my mom beside the pool, prevented me from limiting commitments, stopped me from accepting space, emptiness. Here, where time stretches beyond imaginable boundaries, where people walk slowly, talk softly and value the Now, the being, I am challenged. More questions come. Aren’t you tired? What about a break? Time for a rest? Why not slow down?

A new butterfly catches my eye. Once still, it is not easy to pick out on the yellow lantana blossom. I can no longer tell what is insect and what is flower. Then I spot it, proud that I can see the profile of its graceful wings against the background of bush, leaf and latticed fence. I study the butterfly as it sits, still.

And then it flies off. And I gather my things and go about my day.

©Meredith Pike-Baky, 2009

Meredith Pike-Baky has recently returned from ten months in Rwanda where she spent time climbing hills, making friends and supporting progressive pedagogy in primary schools. She wrote whenever she could, inspired by perfect weather, kind people and many questions. She attended the BAWP Summer Institute in 1999.

3 Responses to “Butterfly Morning by Meredith Pike-Baky”

  1. Lanette Says:

    Simply beautiful!

  2. Judy Bebelaar Says:

    I’m going out in my garden to look at a butterfly and learn this lesson. Lovely, Meredith.


  3. marcos Says:

    this title was very interesting,because butterfly was the first word that my daughter learnt.
    every morning we can see many butterflies near here.
    and we know about butterflies, where you are the butterflies independs on countries we always fall in love for them.

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