I took this picture at the Minnesota Zoo one year.
“They’re beautiful,” she whispered, watching sapphire wings accented in topaz flutter in the tree.
“They’re very rare. Most people go their entire lives without seeing one. You’ve been blessed with seeing two.”
“Why are they so rare?”
“Because the gods chose to make it so.”
The woman sighed and looked down to study the tiny girl standing at her side. The child’s long tangled blond hair glowed in a nimbus around her head. It wrenched the woman’s heart to see this child looking so like a carbon copy of her mother.
“It is said that only those who have experienced a profound loss will see one. Most people never experience that kind of loss,” the woman studied the little girl’s face to see any sign of understanding.
The child’s brow crinkled and her lips puckered a little but her eyes never left the butterflies. Only when they eventually flew away did she look up at the older woman.
“So you and I got to see two because Mommy and Daddy are gone.”