When I look back and try to understand what happened the other day, I reach for impressions and feelings that, in recollection, become the story. Although I had a number of appointments and other things I had to do, I only remember now that the breeze was cool and the sun was hot throughout the afternoon.
And that I saw so many butterflies, many cabbage white butterflies, spinning in love randori above the red and orange and yellow zinnias. Tiny blue butterflies, azures, fluttered down into the faded bee balm.
As I stood thinking about the summer, a hackberry brown, a plain and medium sized butterfly came and bumped me on the back of my head, and then on my shoulder, and then sat on my forearm.
She had emerged, perhaps, to tend the fallen peaches near my huge hackberry tree. I greeted her as the spirit of a person whose birthday was that day, and who had died years ago this month.
I talked with a giant swallowtail near sunflowers, then with four yellow tiger swallowtails, then with a black swallowtail and another hackberry brown, and as I sat watching, a hummingbird moth came and went, and small golden fold-winged skippers played in the ferns by my side, and more cabbage whites chased each other all across the length of the garden.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of Late Summer. In the meantime, talk to any butterfly you happen to see. Tell them the story of your day.