Friday, March 18, 2011

Butterflies are insects too

Rachel and I created a few butterfly necklaces in time for spring. Rachel was drawing a side angle, and mentioned that she didn't want to include the butterfly's icky insect body. Her statement made me wonder about the place that butterflies hold in symbolism and society, despite their humble beginnings as caterpillars, and their place in the generally despised insect world.

Humans see hope in the life cycle of the butterfly. It begins with the boring fat, lumpy caterpillar pupa, wraps itself in a chrysalis, and emerges a thing of beauty and wonder. This emergence also correlates with spring, which I would wager to say, almost everyone awaits with impatience and expectation.

The symbolism, of course does not just come from the life cycle. No one would care about thebutterfly'stransition if notfor it's amazing colors and graceful flight. The shimmering, delicate color of the butterfly wing comes from the tiny scales that cover each wing. I know from experience that these scales make it nearly impossible to recreate the intricacy of the wing. Each color has subtle differentiation between the scales. It's no wonder that people are so amazed by these little insects that fly through our world!