GUEST BLOG: Extravagant beauty
To read more of retired Gainesville educator Jane Elder’s blog, Ozark Road, visit gainesvillemo.bogspot.com.
I looked up the word extravagant in my dictionary just now: It’s defined as going beyond reasonable limits: too ornate or showy: wasteful.
Truly, I have to argue with those definitions. Especially when you’re looking at butterflies feasting on milkweed, their favorite food.
I saw them gathering in a flock near the edge of my road when I drove home the other day. I hurried home, parked the car, grabbed my trusty point-and-shoot camera and walked back to where they were hovering over a few purple flowers. I know from experience that they are shy and will flit away as soon as they sense any kind of movement. I started my picture-taking across the road, with the zoom on full. As they continued to feed I edged a little closer, step by step. Finally I was just a few feet away. Not minding me at all, they continued to crawl across the blossoms and fly a few inches and try the next bunch of flowers. What joy!
We used to have lots of milkweed and butterfly bush near one of our fields. But for some reason, it died off. Our first year here in Luna, when we were building the house, I would sit in a chair near the flowers and take picture after picture of the gorgeous flyers.
This was the first time I had seen butterflies near our home for a long time. I tried not to hurry. I wanted to concentrate on getting the perfect shot, watching in amazement while they did their butterfly ballet in front of me. The light was leaving, but I kept shooting. I finally had about 90 shots when I ended.
I kept thinking how beautiful these creatures are. God could have made them in ordinary colors with a few swirls of gold here and there. I would have been satisfied with that. But no. He gave them this extravagant beauty, above and beyond what we would give ourselves.
You know the scripture about the lilies of the field, how they neither toil nor spin? And yet, our Maker has given us these tiny beings, right here under our noses, because He wants to remind us how much He loves and cares for all of us.
Extravagant beauty ... extravagant love.