On the way to the shower I caught a butterfly struggling against a window pane in my parents’ home. I didn’t think anything of it, and because I was distracted with something I don’t even remember anymore, I just went ahead without sparing it a second glance. When I walked past that stretch of windows again though, it was still there, flapping desperately against the glass as though it knew that that was the only thing that separated it from the outside – as though it could push that window open, and push it without breaking its fragile wings.
I felt very bad for the butterfly. It must suck having such papery, thin wings.
I pushed the window open and set it free. But I had taken a long time to do so, and more than freeing the butterfly too late, I feel sadder that I had not sooner noticed its distress in the first place.
How many times have there been butterflies in my midst, I wonder. How many times have I seen people struggle, and watched, unseeing, as they attempted to push windows that simply wouldn’t budge? How many people could I have saved if I had lifted my hand, reached out, to complete a motion that would not have taken the least effort on my part? Still, I can’t save everyone. I can’t, because I know I’m selfish, and I’m left instead to think of how many more struggling butterflies I must watch before I take it upon myself to move.
I am a butterfly, too, I suppose. Except maybe I have stopped struggling. One can be content just perching on that window pane, calmly watching the world outside, and perhaps that’s what I’ve done.
(c) Wauwwie None @ Freeimages.