By Sharon Ray
When I hear the word “fun,” I think “recreation” which is a rung on the ladder of Sunburst’s Eightfold Path. It is easy for people to scold themselves if they feel they are not working hard enough, but how many of us consider FUN to be a requirement on the Path?
It is! Recreation frees our spirits and gives us joy, rendering us more receptive and closer to Spirit. So, in the interest of having my required weekly dose of recreation—which needs no sugar to get down—I went with my friend, Sandy Anderson, to the Elwood Butterfly Reserve.
Sandy and I walked along a trail so shaded by eucalyptus trees that, even in extreme drought, there was actually green stuff growing on the ground: nasturtium, sour grass with yellow flowers, and good old lush green grass almost a foot high. This spring greenness was so refreshing to see, my eyes just drank in the color as butterflies sailed by, some at eye level. We saw many flying high up near the tops of the eucalyptus trees.
Wandering deeper along the narrow trail, we suddenly noticed a beautiful, large Monarch flailing about in the grass. We thought how curious this was and drew nearer to get a better look. This lovely creature was in distress because a dry leaf, perhaps with some sap on it, had gotten quite stuck onto one of her legs. She was desperately trying to free herself of it, to no avail.I carefully reached out my hands and plucked the leaf from her leg, then raised her up out of the grasses. She was now free, and sailed away. I swear I could hear the echo of her calling back “Thank you!” as she registered her new lease on life.
I’ve been thinking about it…what would have been the fate of this magnificent creature if Sandy and I hadn’t passed by at the exact moment of her need? Or what if we had walked by, but not to have comprehended, saying, “Hey, look, there’s a butterfly down in the grass. That’s weird. By the way, did you see the Olympic ice skating finals last week?” Or “Oh, there’s a butterfly in distress in the grass. Too bad. Man, I’m hungry. Where do you want to eat?” But Sandy and I responded with open hearts, and that is precisely why we were appointed to be there at that exact moment.
This is the month of the year, in which Sunburst focuses on the virtue of faith. I think to myself, “If the Divine arranges a rescue for a butterfly, how likely is it that a rescue will take place for humans in their time of distress!” My experience with the beautiful butterfly really strengthened my faith. The Mother of all mothers, Mother Divine is always here, ready to help us, support us, counsel us, and send us the help we need. If I am ever a candidate for a 911 rescue, I’ll expect something like a giant Monarch to come and carry me safely home! Thank you God, for being our Best Friend!