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From The Ashes Of Burnout, A Butterfly

When the going gets tough, the smart go to camp.
So when the cares and stresses of the past summer months hit into the burnout level, Justin and I packed up girl, lion and dog, and headed off to the family camp in the Adirondack Park.

A photographer nightmare, this least two out of five were kinda paying attention...
Like tired and battered butterflies we soaked up the sweet nectar of the sunny wilderness.

Who knew butterflies could look like Lion boys?

Leo did some literal soaking, both of the sun, and the water. 

It is the family tradition after all, that life at camp takes place either in the water, or on the dock. Only sleeping and hiking are the sanctioned exceptions.

And maybe rock and tree climbing.

But our trip was more then that, this time.
Did you know that Monarch butterflies, fragile creatures they are, can fly almost a mile high, and cover more ground then most migrating birds? We didn't know either. Not until that is, we watched this:

This is just the trailer, but you can get the idea. Butterflies! Who would have thought a film about butterflies would bring tears to my eyes. 
We watched the forty minute long film here: 

The Wild Center at Tupper Lake, NY. Also known as the coolest place in the Adirondacks. Built by the best environmental standards, this museum mimics and highlights the nature of the park. There is no formal landscaping. There are no lawns. Just natural vegetation in all its glorious variety.

And a stray lion too.

The mystery of life, the ultimate wonder of can be experienced on the wings of these butterflies. We are always preoccupied with seeking answers to the age old question of the "why." Why me, why life, why this life, why God, etc, etc, etc. 
Well listen to this, the monarch butterfly will go through three generations in the summer months, and then, the third and final generation will not only outlive its short lived predecessors by almost a year, but will also travel thousands of miles south to Mexico, where, it will pinpoint one specific mountain, and then one specific grove of evergreens where it will meet up with billions of other monarchs and winter through until spring, when they will mate one final time and fly off to lay eggs and start the process all over again. What the what?!? 
How incredible, and how unfathomable. The cycle of life, and the inevitable death of two generations just to give life to this one, super butterfly who will fly on the air streams of unerring instinct to a distant land, only to ultimately give its life for its children in turn. How beautiful and how mysterious.

Sometimes the bonfire of life instead of warming, can be threatening and overwhelming. I don't understand "why" I struggle. I end up resentful and stressed; fighting those air streams of life that carry me along. Fighting tooth and claw to control something that is so obviously beyond any control. My whole perception of my faith, my belief must be centered on this one fact. The fact that is Trust. 

We don't know why the butterflies do this incomprehensible cycle every year, over and over. But they do. And so do we, plod on our own incomprehensible cycle of life and death. And the only thing that makes any sense of the madness is trust. Trust in the sun that nourishes, the water that sustains us, and in the God that loves us and is our salvation.

Ok, maybe butterflies aren't the answer to all my problems, but they ARE cool ok?! 
And Leo loved seeing them, which, is all that matters. The people sitting next to us in the theater were very gracious with Leo's running commentary on the film: AIRPLANE!!! MOOoooo. Cow? Sun. SUUUUN! MAMA. Mommy. Butterfly!!!! And etc, etc, etc. Actually they said he was cracking them up, and in a good way. Whew!

Love to you all from Lion boy and hope that you too can get lost by a lake somewhere (preferably in the Adirondacks) soon. 


  1. Nice, Anna, whether it Trust, Faith, love we need to hang on to that which is outside of us and believe :-) Sounds like an awesome trip.

  2. And sometimes you find the answers to life persistent questions in some strange places, like in your daughter's blog. ;-) Thank you, Anka!

  3. a few Falls ago, I was making coffee early in the morning and looked out the kitchen window to see strings of Monarchs having from the oak tree... one of the reasons that I believe in miracles. Claire

  4. Here's our idea: Bring the fam and come to our place in MX to see billions of butterflies up close and personal! It's like being in a ginormous snowglobe of butterflies...truly a wondrous experience. Think about it...we'd love to have you come and stay with us. Love, D&K

    1. Ahh Kathy that would be a dream come true. Timmer and Jo told us that you guys live close to the monarch "shrine" haha. We would love to do that, just as soon as we figure out the traveling with kids thing...:-)


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