Higher Life Forms

I live with two dogs and one man. Pepper, his screen name, will not eat until Salt, (alias used to protect the guilty) has eaten her share. The only thing is her share is everything in and around the plate and more if so much as rumored. Salt is a canine vacuum when it comes to edibles. She’s wonderful when it comes to possessions – give or take the odd chair leg or two. In the five months we’ve had her, my husband has only once suspected and twice caught her gnawing on the leg of the couch. Even then she is careful to focus her energies on a spot just inside the pleat and under the hem of the slipcover. This way her handiwork remains hidden from all but us insiders. I can respect that.

This morning, when taking her out for the first time, I noticed a butterfly perched amid the rocks. When we approached it appeared to hop a few feet away and into the grass, flapping its vibrant black and orange wings, slowly back and forth. As I write this I imagine the movements were in fact designed to dry new wings. Having used the Monarch Butterfly as a symbol of Living A Changed Life in yesterday’s Adult Sunday School lesson I find the timing impeccable if slightly unsettling. The last time a butterfly visited my residence someone had died and right about now, I know too many folk dancing at death’s door to ignore it.

Still, they are majestic creatures after all. Flawless design, stunning use of color, captivating and unsurpassed flight patterns. Such beings remind me of us – the way we used to be and even sometimes still appear, if as fleetingly.


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