Friday, October 26, 2012

Lessons From The Coast: Butterflies at the Beach

Butterflies at Fort Fisher, © 2012 Susan E. Hance

Have you found beauty in the most unexpected places? The beach holds beauty for me, even when the ocean crashes with all its strength against the shore and tosses white caps across its surface. Most often it is serene when we walk on the beach, with soothing air, the cawing of laughing gulls, and sandpipers and terns running little marathons to catch their dinner under a mango colored sunset.

When I saw butterflies at Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher,  I wondered what they could possibly want from the sand and surf. Surely not salty water for their little bodies and there are no blossoms growing on the beach.

Butterflies near Battery Buchanan, © 2012 Susan E. Hance
But that's where I was wrong. Along the boardwalk Lantana bushes and flowers grew by human design. And in the dunes wild flowers and patches of weeds thrived, with butterflies greeting them like old friends. The butterflies busied themselves flittng from one plant to another, finding life and beauty in a place where it would seem they might not frequent.
Occasionally they took a cruise down the beach, then returned to their livelihood. That's how I like it too. A visit to the beach and back to life as we know it. And I think to myself, "Aren't we so LUCKY to live on the coast?" The lesson is to find beauty in unexpected places, wherever we are.

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