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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)

TITLE: Catching Butterflies
By Brenda Shipman


Catching Butterflies

Ahhh, wonderful hot bath, I love you. I sink deeper into the water and bubbles, and let my mind wander.

Oh gee, not again, another butterfly, AND another inconvenient time to catch it. Itís really a beautiful one this time - colorful and so original - touching down lightly on the bubbles, then soaring up toward the ceiling. As usual, I have nothing handy with which to catch itÖno steno pad or notebook, not even an old envelope or receipt. I mean, Iím in the bathtub for Peteís sake. I pray it sticks around, because I really like this one.

I cut my bath short, dry off, throw on a robe, then race to the computer. Thankfully, the butterfly hasnít disappeared, like so many of them do, so I nab it quickly by opening up a fresh page on Microsoft Word. Iíll return later to look at it, and decide what to do with it.

Sitting in church and taking notes on the sermon. I spy, in my peripheral vision, another butterfly. This one is sort of funny, quirky and promises to make people laugh. Would it be sacrilegious to try and catch it in church? The page out of the church bulletin meant for sermon notes is quickly converted into a net. I discreetly seize this new guy floating by. Iíll get the highlights of the sermon later from my husband, after I add this hilarious fellow to my collection. He is really going to be a fun one to develop.

Driving to town, focusing on highway traffic, and Iíll be darned if somehow another butterfly pops up out of nowhere, right there in the cab of my truck! This one is somewhat sad, and yet beautiful. I canít believe Iím even choking up and dabbing at a few tears. I have got to get a grip! I sigh in resignation, dig in my purse at the next stop light, whip out my mini tape recorder, and capture this beauty by pressing the record button. He may have eternal value, I suspect.

Hiking the canyon trail with my husband and quietly soaking in the beauty all around me. A huge Monarch flutters across the trail and I stop to dig in my backpack Ė not a single piece of paper. This one is epic, I mean absolutely amazing; so I describe the butterfly to my husband and ask him if heíd please help me remember it. Always faithful, and possessing a memory like a steel trap, he reminds me of it when we get home. I run to the computer and add this gem to my file, eager to get back and plumb its depths later.

Cooking dinner, three dishes on the verge on burning, and another butterfly begins flitting about my head. I swat at it, ďNot now! Canít you see Iím busy here?Ē But this one is persistent, so I turn off all the burners on the stove and grab the steno pad I keep in the kitchen. Five minutes later, the butterfly is held captive with words. I continue cooking, my mind still lingering on this latest catch.

Finally, a large stretch of time opens up one day, and I sit down to examine the five butterflies in my collection. Each one is so different from the others, each one would be a delight to feed, nurture and grow. I open up a new Word document, pick the quirky one, and center a possible title at the top of the page. I sigh with contentment and head to the kitchen to pour up my first cup of coffee.

Itís going to be a fun day with my butterfly.

ďÖwe are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.Ē
2 Corinthians 10:5

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This article has been read 594 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Maria Egilsson05/22/10
Quirky and humorous. Butterfly thoughts that flutter on the edges of a writers mind. Delicate and illusive. I enjoyed reading this.
Kate Oliver Webb 05/22/10
Yes, "quirky," but delightfully original and well written. Loved this one, I guess because it describes how I feel so frequently!