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My family and I are going to attend the 2012 international Butterfly show at Krohn’s conservatory in Cincinnati this weekend. It is one of my favorite shows within the city and one that I look forward to.

I love butterflies. There’s just no other way to put it. I simply love anything and everything pertaining to a butterfly. Butterfly fridge magnets, books about butterfly’s, t- shirts with colorful butterfly prints on them, paintings and even tattoos….yep, I’m drawn to butterfly tattoos. No, I don’t have a butterfly tattoo. I was a second away from getting one once but chickened out at the last minute. My coward side roared its ugly head and up from the chair and out the door I went. Maybe one day I will muster up the courage. Maybe….

This love and fascination that I have for the butterfly began when I was a kid. I had an amazing encounter with Monarch butterflies that I think few have experienced. Because of this encounter, I have become the ultimate butterfly lover! The details of my encounter are still very vivid to me. I’ve shared the story of my encounter with the Monarch butterflies with few people over the years. I thought that in honor of the international butterfly show taking place, sharing my story would be fitting.

So here is my weird and amazing story…..

When I was a kid, my sister and I use to play on an old gravel road close to where we lived. The road was private and it was almost as though it was hidden from the rest of the world. There was a canopy of trees that aligned both sides of the road. In our child like minds, we claimed it. We really thought that this road belonged to us. It was the one place in the world that we could call our own.

One day during the summer my sister and I were playing on the road. I don’t know why, but for some reason she had decided that she was finished playing and she ran back to our house. I remember feeling disappointed. I hated playing by myself, especially on the road alone.

I stood in the middle of the road thinking about whether or not to keep walking further up the road, or run back to the house after my sister. Finally, I decided that I would walk further. The further I walked the more frightened I became. Never had I walked that far up the road before, alone. I wanted to turn back. I felt panic stricken and wanted to run.

I don’t know what prompted me to do this, but instead of running, I stood in the middle of the road and picked up a rock from the ground. Then with all of my strength, I threw the rock into the canopy of trees above me. Here’s the amazing part…the event that followed has forever been etched into my memory.

When the rock met the trees above me, hundreds, maybe thousand of Monarch butterflies scattered from the trees. For a brief moment, the butterflies covered my entire body. I had been painted in a sea of color. I remember raising my arms from my sides and holding them straight out as the butterflies flew around me. Their soft wings fluttered against my skin. There was joy and excitement that filled my heart and mind in those brief seconds. The memory is still as vivid today as it was when I was a kid.

That brief and amazing encounter prompted my love and fascination for the butterfly….

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