The Little Wood Satyr danced around me many times during this most recent visit to the hermitage.
Unlike its mythological counterpart of the same name, I tend to think of this little butterfly as, well, rather shy. Perhaps even humble and demure.
But no less intoxicating for it.
I have come to recognize them when I detect a brown fluttering at knee level when visiting this wooded area. Because of their reluctance to sit still for even a moment, I often find myself asking, “And who are you?”
Given the abundance of our encounters as I swished through the long grasses of their homeland during this stay, we came to recognize and become at ease with each other a bit more quickly.
To persuade them to offer their image, I am always quick to remind them that they are beautiful. “Even if you don’t think you are…”, I add, sensing their self-consciousness about their coloring.
Although their “eyespots” are really quite dazzling, not much fuss is made over a brown butterfly, at least not by the casual observer. The monarchs and swallowtails take the show every time.
So I remind them of their beauty and ask them if I might receive their images “for the glory of God”.
And they never fail to offer their praise to Him.
The Friday I arrived at the hermitage this year, I gloried in the unmowed grass that held all kinds of special treasures.
And on that very first day, a Little Wood Satyr revealed itself where it hid amidst the tall green stalks, a tiny epiphany for me to contemplate.
“Would you spread your wings, please?” I requested, with a boldness that surprised even me. “I love to see your wings open…”
This one did not comply. I was saddened just a little, but knew I needed to abide by her choice.
Whom am I to tell God’s creature what it ought to do, especially when I ask only out of selfish desire?
Perhaps she was preparing to lay eggs or carry out some other important mission of which I have no knowledge or understanding.
Yet God’s little Megisto cymela was not done with me on that first of my days of rest.
As often happens when this holy time draws to a close, I am packing and tidying up when camera and I feel the urge to take “just one more” venture before reentering the world.
Yes, the gift was given. And we received it, camera and me.
As with so many divine gifts, I am humbled by this giving, this granting of a little favor that I could never deserve.
It feeds me, a blessed manna that nourishes the deepest recesses of my soul.
I do not even understand what it is that I have received. But in this sacramental outpouring, I know that I am loved, unquestionably and endlessly loved.