Have you ever watched a butterfly dance through a garden . . . alighting on one flower and then the next, lingering longer with some blooms than with others. Sometimes from my porch, I watch the butterflies in my small front garden and try to notice a pattern for each butterfly. It seems as if they are choosing flowers.
What a lovely life - alighting on the color we each choose, sipping sweet nectar, freely riding the breeze. Some say butterflies are metaphors for our souls, individual souls with particular preferences, each choosing what delights their senses.
If your soul were a butterfly, what color bloom would you prefer? How about the texture that suits you? Would you be drawn to the sweet fragrances, or something more spicy or herbal? And where would your preferred garden be? In a quiet meadow or near a family home? Near the warm coastline or the cool mountains? Would you be most attracted to the sounds of soft winds or to flowing streams?
The choices we make about what delights us come from our spiritual dimension, our attractions come from our soul. Plato once said, “the body is the prison of the soul.” I think our bodies are, instead, an extension of our soul. As incarnated beings, our physical body gifts us with senses to experience life. What we see, touch, smell, taste and hear animates our life. When we take care to notice our delights and preferences, we have the opportunity to return to those experiences we prefer.
Several years ago, my sister and I spent a weekend away in the mountains. We hiked, talked, enjoyed our favorite foods, and read excerpts from our journals to each other. During this time away, we committed to recognizing and making note of the things that delight each of our senses. We each started a new journal, divided in five sections, to list those things we notice our senses delighting in. Capturing as much detail as we could, we began a list for each sense. Our lists have each grown to hundreds of specific things. We enjoy sharing them with each other when something makes it onto our lists. I’ll share a few with you …
I love the feel of soft brushed wool scarves against my skin, wrapped around my neck and shoulders and stretched down over the top of my back to keep the chill out during late fall walks.
I love the taste of apricot jam, especially when the homemade chunks are small enough to spread nicely across a slice of toasted and buttered homemade bread.
I love the sight of butterflies dancing in the garden, especially when they skim across the glistening rocks in the butterfly bath and return to their colorful floral landing pads
I love the sound of the Bar Harbor wind chime that hangs on my neighbor’s porch. I can hear it when I sit on the front porch. On warm days it reminds me of hearing the chime that hung near the beach cottage in Maine, where my husband and I spent our tenth anniversary.
I love the smell of peonies; it reminds me of the peonies that lined the backyard near my childhood swing set. When I would swing especially high the breeze carried the fragrance of the flowers to my nose, and I understood why mom liked to bring them indoors to enjoy.
Take notice of what delights you, be as specific as you can. Think about each of your senses, keep a list if you like as a reminder of what to invite into your daily lives. Consider sharing some of your specific delights with someone close to you, perhaps share one item as a check in with your circle. Our souls and our bodies come together to make us each beautiful, unique, complete, and sensual!
Enjoy this day~