In the patch of land that encircles the small, golden pagoda, tall grass and wildflowers grow. I sit at the edge of this miniature playground, and watch the butterflies flutter by. This is their land. This is where tiny, winged miracles happen.
In the hot afternoon sun they go whirring by, landing on the choicest flowers and sampling the delicate pollen.
Their wings flutter in every imaginable shade. Dull gold, soft lavender, flitting yellow, burnt orange.
Some butterflies look like flying zebras, wings striped black and white. Others are like ruby jewels, their wings opening and closing hypnotically while they sip pollen.
Have you ever heard the sound of a butterfly’s wings? It is only possible on a very quiet day. They make a sound like papery purring.
A tiny, dry vibration. A rolling of invisible proportions.
I sit and watch the butterfly field, and wish I wasn’t so tall. I wish that a magical cake would appear labeled “Eat Me.” Like Alice in Wonderland, I would take every last bite and shrink to the size of the butterflies. I would skip across the clover, bouncing and twirling, a new species for the butterflies to contend with. I would pinch their wings together, then let them go. I would peer into flowers, and taste the pollen myself.
But alas, I am large and human. If I skipped out into the butterfly meadow, my big feet would crush the flowers. So I content myself with being an adult-child instead. I watch the happiness, the transience, and the shifting colors, and tuck my knees to my chest, quiet.