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Reflections: My old body still yearns to dance among the wildflowers

Butterflies, daisies and rainbows — Oh, my!
Columnist Erna de Burger-Fex reflects on the joys of summer. (Supplied)

“Well I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “The Little Prince”

I can relate to Saint-Exupery’s statement especially in 2017 when we had a veritable onslaught of caterpillars. Unfortunately, they did not all turn into butterflies and actually damaged trees and bushes. Those are not the caterpillars to which I’m referring of course.  

To me butterflies, rainbows and daisies all proclaim summer – the season we all long for during our lengthy, difficult, cold winters. Butterflies are beautiful and flit among the bushes and flowers giving us a sense of lightness and air. 

Who does not love it when they happen to land on your body? Children are always fascinated by the many varieties and colours of butterflies and watch them with wonderment in their eyes. I have observed little kids stop whatever they were doing and silently contemplate the butterflies while they alighted on their arms for a short time.

Sunny daisies are my favourite wildflowers. Their happy faces smile all the time making me feel cheerful and always lifting my spirits. Erma Bombeck, the humourist, wrote, “If I had my life to live over, I’d pick more daisies,” akin to the popular adage, “Stop and smell the roses.” Both sentiments carry important messages for me. 

I need to relax, enjoy the moment, smile and laugh more often. Driving by a meadow filled with daisies and buttercups gives me joyful feelings. I want to stop the car to roll and dance this old body through such flower-filled fields and revel in the experience. Forget about the dust on my shelves and get outside to enjoy the summer’s beautiful offerings.

Perhaps I’ll see a magical rainbow after a shower and marvel at the glorious colours stretching in a perfect arch across the sky. If I’m really fortunate, there may be two rainbows at the same time. They always fascinate me and I am astonished when they appear. 

Why are there two?  I don’t want the scientific explanations instead I would rather just enjoy their magnificence.

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher who writes about aging and the funny side of getting older. Got a question for Erna Email