Strong Bugs

Butterfly GigsawOn several occasions as I walked around temples or while on treks through the city or countryside I would be joined by a single excited companion. It would fly its erratic path popping up, down, and sideways as it kept pace with me.

Sometimes it would possess the burnt orange of a monarch while other times it would be a vibrant blue or dark smoldering grey.

Sometimes it would be adorned in uneven stripes; other times meticulous single colored perfectly round dots. On occasion the smooth powdery velvet of its monochrome would be unusually beautiful, enough to render further brush strokes from nature unnecessary.

The butterflies of Cambodia are gorgeous, numerous, and highly regarded.

This was apparent by the many cafes, gardens, sanctuaries, and exhibits dedicated to these delicate and beautiful creatures.

On each occasion as I walked somewhere new I would, upon first noticing my joyful compadre, send a greeting its way and smile as it performed its mid-air dance around my head.

I followed as it led me in the direction I was going.

My mother had always been able to find the beauty in all things. She would pronounce them “Simply Beautiful” as a description of beautiful all by itself was never quite enough to fully acknowledge their gift to the world.

She had a soft spot for the more fragile and delicate. Flowers and butterflies held a special place in her heart.

Over the years mum had taken countless photos of flowers blooming in her garden. She had completed numerous needlepoint works and giant gig-saw puzzles displaying butterflies from around the world. Every time illuminating them to their full glory.

Mum passed on in 2012 and life has not been quite the same since then. She had been my rock and for a long time afterwards I felt a bit rudderless.

She was the person that had always encouraged me and my siblings to venture out. To challenge the world to provide us experiences we could always cherish. She had succeeded in this and much much more.

This is my first big journey since that time.

As I meandered through the country there were multiple instances where I would matter-of-factly greet my frolicking companion with a sub-conscious “Hi Ma”.

I found it comforting to know she was with me, keeping me safe, and enjoying the experience that is Cambodia.

For photos of Cambodia click here

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51 thoughts on “Strong Bugs

  1. I love the way you write, I feel like I’m back in Cambodia watching the butterflies, many of which we saw too and are constantly amazed at the colours (especially compared to ours in the UK). And I think its beautiful to remember your mum like this, so much more personal than stars!

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    1. Thanks Heather and am glad the story takes you back to Cambodia; an absolutely magical place in my opinion. As for the butterflies they are gorgeous and colorful and act as a great source of peace and calm for me following my Mum’s passing…then and now.

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  2. That is really a great comparison Tim, and I personally think it’s nothing but ‘simply beautiful’ that these delicate creatures have such a strong meaning to you. If your subconscious mutters the ‘hi’, it probably does so for a really good reason and, especially if feeling rudderless, you are probably supposed to be reminded of all the beautiful things around you that should never go unnoticed…

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  3. Very moving post.. I’m glad that the butterflies make you remember of your mother, it must make you feel so happy whenever you see one 🙂 keep going strong on your journey !

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  4. It’s incredible how some things or events may let us feel so close to a person that we have lost and loved so much.. Your delicate words make me feel the emotions you experienced when you ‘met’ those butterflies.
    And your photos are great 😉

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  5. First let me start by saying that I am sorry for your loss. Next let me say that this is a great tribute to your mother. There is a lot of beauty in the world that will remind you of her. those are some beautiful pics to go with a great story. thanks for sharing.

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  6. This is such a beautiful story and tribute to your mother. She sounds like a special woman, and now I’ll think of her with the next butterfly I see. I’ll tell her hi for you. 🙂

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  7. Tim,
    I lost my father almost ten years ago. I found myself “rudderless” for several years but finally found my way and his memories helped me to view everything with simplicity. I empathize with your life and hope you continue to see beauty as your mom showed you.

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  8. Your mother seems to have been a wonderful person. She is so right that you can find beauty in everything in life. It’s just a question of if you look at the positive or negative aspects. Having said that, butterflies are beautiful.

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  9. How nicely you related the butterflies with your Ma’s love! The words show your love and respect for her…God bless you..take care and keep smiling always 🙂

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  10. Hello Tim

    Your posts show how much you love your sister and mother. I believe she was such a strong ,wonderful and brave lady who had crossed hard times in life with a success. A mother is someone whose prayers and teachings always guide us no matter if she is in front of our eyes or not. When she is no longer with us surly she is still around and watch us , even if we can not see her. Your mother have left a lot for you in those pictures that she has taken and she was such a beautiful lady as she loved nature and admired every bit of it.

    Butterflies always attract everyone with their vibrant or unique colors, designs , I still remember how I use to run after them to catch them and put them in my books… But now I feel sad about all those butterflies that I have killed.

    Your post remind me of my mother … she is sitting far away from me.. and I miss and Love her a lot

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  11. How perfectly said…simply beautiful. I find myself saying that too! About so many things. I’m not sure what it is about a butterfly that incites memories, but I find myself addressing them out loud as though they are souls past, leading me. The pictures are stunning.

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  12. What a delicate beautiful story you have written here. I am very sorry that you have to miss your mum…..really. And you described so lovely how you greet the butterflies that she loved so much. 🙂

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