…if we no longer call out to the moon slipping between the clouds, or whisper to the spider setting the silken struts of her web, well, then the numerous powers of this world will no longer address us – and if they still try, we will not likely hear them. – David Abram, from Becoming Animal
I had a powerful experience of this the other day… I was walking into woods, and chanced upon a butterfly resting by the side of the trail. I paused to greet it, as I try to do on such occasions; it regarded me for a few moments, then flew up around my head and fluttered down the trail before settling down some distance away. As I caught up, the performance was repeated – my companion swooped and glided* before me and on ahead again, only to come to rest as before until I came alongside again.
We proceeded in this way for a full three minutes or more, until the way opened into a clearing; here the butterfly alighted on a branch at the edge of the trail, obviously intending to go no farther. I thanked it sincerely for keeping me company through the darkest part of the woods; it sat with me for a minute in companionable stillness before fluttering between the branches, and so away.
*I do mean “glided”, like a hawk riding a thermal – if it had not been so near the ground I would be tempted to say it soared…