It was already after sunset. There was only a 4 days old, young moon that rested low on the horizon just before it would disappear too. I was walking with my dog. A small flashlight lit my path right before me. At moments I would lift up the thin bundle of light and let it dance at random over what ever surrounded me.
All of a sudden I spotted two tiny ghosts that got captured in the little light that came from my lamp. They fluttered a bit in the wind and then were left almost motionless some feet above the ground. A fragile pale dangling lifelessly.
They were two dead butterflies. Facing each other. Caught in a spiders web that was no longer in use. Their bodies and wings in perfect condition, although in odd positions. Their legs and antennas broken, crippled and even severed. I approached and touched one of the butterflies as if to check if it was really dead. And it was. And so was its mate.
But the action was one of marvel rather than logic or compassion. These two fragile creatures. Built in perfection so beautiful to the human eye. Caught in a web with a beautiful perfection of its own, built by a spider long gone. Alive one moment and dead the next.
I could easily contemplate about the fragility of life. About the ever changing everything. About the temporality of all. But that is the exact opposite of what I experienced as I touched those wings dangling on a thread in a slow and soft wind in the meager light of a low moon to be and the beam of a flashlight of which the batteries ran empty. What I touched was eternity itself.
Life is robust and firm and ancient and strong and perfect and for ever young. Life is eager and fluent and needs no knowledge. It just wants to be lived. The cooling of the air as felt by the skin of my naked feet, the surprise of the two ghostly figures that triggered my hand into moving and touching, the breathing of the night, the thin haze moving in…
My action was part of the eternal life. Any action is part of the eternal life. Any action is all of eternity in it self. The touch was eternity itself.
During the night a thunderstorm passed. This morning the web was gone. The wings of those two butterflies were nowhere to be seen.
Wings unused unseen
Light has nowhere to abide
Where can a cloud go? *)
Originally in Dutch:
*) Vlinders ongezien
Licht kan nergens verblijven
Waar kan een wolk heen?