The holiday season is still a good distance away–despite the Christmas sales creeping earlier every year, St. Nick has yet to hawk a good in any local department stores.
Even so, I received an early Christmas gift: two great trees ornamented with weary monarchs. I first saw them two nights ago when I was walking my dog down the road; I was surprised and delighted by the sight of monarchs dancing in the fading light, then gracefully alighting, one by one, on the branches of a neighbor’s towering pine trees. That night I counted twelve, but I suspect there were many more hidden among the needles.
The next night, my heart leaped when I realized that even more of the fragile travelers had chosen to alight in the same trees: This time, I counted forty.
I’m hoping there will be more sojourners tonight now that Sage is home from his grandma’s house and might be able to see them with me. Even if there aren’t, though, I’ll never forget the sight of forty butterflies hanging from the tree, luminous in the setting sun.
Few gifts in life are greater.