As a child, I was fascinated by the metamorphosis of a butterfly. They began as a caterpillar and after cocooning themselves they emerged as these beautiful butterflies. Their beauty always made me smile. Who doesn’t smile about a butterfly?
As a child, I also dreaded the fact butterflies came from caterpillars. I dislike caterpillars with all that is dark within me. They are disgusting and their furry bodies are something nightmares are made of, well at least mine.
Living in Jacksonville in the late 70s and early 80s, was for the most part great. Jacksonville wasn’t as big and bustling as it is now, but for our family it was one of the best ports to be stationed. The weather was pretty mild and the only thing we worried about was hurricanes, and they were rare during that time. One thing we couldn’t deny was Jacksonville was exquisite. The trees, flowers, green grass and just the cleanliness of the town resonate for me even after 30 years of being gone.
The one thing I detested as a child coming of age in Jacksonville was the seasonal time when caterpillars ruled our neighborhoods. It was traumatizing. You would walk out your front door and find no walking surface not covered by caterpillars. Even typing this is giving me the hibbie jibbies. I felt terrorized I never wanted to leave the house during their pilgrimage because they were everywhere and I didn’t want not one, and I mean not one to touch me. I thought my mother was just cruel, because she knew how scared I was of the damn caterpillars and she still made me go to school and leave the house. I was stepping on them and the sound of my shoes crushing them. Oh my goodness! And people this pilgrimage of caterpillars lasted for at least two weeks. Some of the worst two weeks of my life! I was dramatic back then too.
When they finally finished their takeover, if you looked up into the trees you would see what looked like large spider webs, but in actually they were hundreds of cocoons the caterpillars had built. You want to know what I remember after they bundled into their cocoons? Nothing. I do not remember one damn butterfly coming from their cocoons. Not one.
A few weeks ago I was playing around in the garden and went to throw something in the garbage can and guess what I saw? A large, beautiful and gorgeous butterfly and it reminded me of my time in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, the butterfly seemed to be hurt. And due to those caterpillars of over 30 years ago I am scared of butterflies, really. I can watch them from afar but baby if they get too close, we have a problem. So I didn’t touch it and decided to let nature do what it does. However, nature has a sense of humor because a black butterfly chased my ass into the house. The thing kept trying to land on me and I had to literally run into the house and screaming as I did so to get away from it. Sighing…and that is my story of The Fight of the Butterfly! Happy Monday!
(Psst…I wanted to put a fuzzy caterpillar in the post but, I started hyperventilating looking at the pictures so, um no.)