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THE BUTTERFLY REALM
By L.J. Holmes
Most people don't know it takes a century. They think it's nothing more momentous than spinning a
cocoon during the last throes of April’s showers, and the reemerging from that same cocoon with the advent of the opening rays of summer’s radiating sun—not true. So few know the legacy of the one chosen, by an inner source fewer still could understand, to be the next queen. Why would they?
legends are told, not by the children of the current queen, but by humans—humans who rarely comprehend their own legends—humans who see the incredible beauty of Her Majesty’s children as they
flit and flutter from flower to grass blade, to dandelion puffs. They do not know the
queen exists, or of the long gestation that exists before
she emerges, the new Butterfly Queen from her prolonged concealment.
Long ago upon the emergence of the current queen,
Lea, the future queen, began her transformation. Her body
a long, agile, silky and slithery mass of undulating tissue and methodically rose into the leaves of the oldest oak tree.
Once there, she busily oozed the fine concealing threads, building layer by intricate layer, a cocoon to nurture, secrete, and protect her during the length of her gestating century.
Within her developing chrysalis, the panorama of Nature’s most breathtaking
color wheel began ebbing and flowing around her altering form. While she distorted into her future elegance, and beyond her defensive encasement she listens to the cries and cacophony of life marching on, being led by the
rein of the one who must die before she can materialize—her mother, her grandmother, her great and perhaps another great grandmother, on through the chronicles of her ancestry.
The world will not remain as she knows it when she make that long journey into the oldest of all oak trees. Time stands still for no one, not even an elegant caterpillar destined to be the next Butterfly Queen. She knows, the way every connected soul knows, that she will be born into a world so alien from the memories locked inside that chrysalis with her making the advent of her rein all the more challenging. But duty and the lines of her deepest gene pool guide her, every step of the way.
The current queen with her wings tattered and torn, the undeniable advancement of age creeping in and leeching her majestic elegance from the delicate beauty within her, brings her to her spindly knees. The end is near, and
around her in mournful exquisiteness, her most recent flock of children await the inevitable, her death and the birth of the next queen, Queen Lea.
Many rant and rumble about the coming of the new queen.
Do they really need a
monarch guiding them…a monarch who has no idea what this world is all about?
Of course, they are the youngest of the dying queen’s children.
Why, they wonder, should they pay homage and declare fealty to a butterfly younger than themselves; a butterfly who does not know the rich fields of a century past, have been systematically replaced by acres of ugly, soulless gray concrete?
It takes more than a wish and a prayer to find the flowers, taste the nectar of blades contained within the wafting grass, and bat at the sweet dandelion puffs so needed to sustain their kind.
should they abide another of their kind who remembers a world alive with the greenery Nature can no longer provide for them today? Isn’t it every butterfly for his or herself? Perhaps the time has come to revolt against any monarch ruling their kind.
The aging queen knows her kind well, and aches for the monumental job of the queen coming behind her, but tradition and Mother Nature are demanding task mistresses.
So, through rapidly fading eyes, she looks upon her attending final hoard of children with a sadness she cannot escape.
Her daughter’s work will not be easy, but as she wrestles with her last breaths, she feels the
subtle shifting upon the wind, of a chrysalis making way for the birth of her daughter, the next queen.
No queen emerges to a rein without challenges. As with any birth, the pains of labor cannot be denied.
Hers occurred during a time when humans relentlessly lobbed horrid weapons of destruction upon each other, staining the precious landscape with all matter of blood, gore, and shredded body parts.
Sadly, her daughter will emerge to a world stricken with anger, poverty, and the bane of Mother Nature’s breast…
concrete…but over there, to her left,
flutters the ones the new queen will call to her without strife and in them she will show the future how to move past the failures of the planet’s smarting past.
Somewhere out there, the new queen will find and guide her children to the pockets of eye-catching flowers, the endless acres of verdant blades of rich green grass, and eager puffs of dandelion seeds.
The passing queen twitches her antenna.
The emerging queen pushes her way through the weakening layers of her silk-lined womb.
The passing queen expels the last and most powerful curtain of her pheromones.
The emerging queen’s nasal hairs flare, catching the faint but growing final gift of precious scent from her dying mother.
The passing queen’s wings enfold, wrapping her in her final cocoon of dying embers.
The emerging queen pokes through the final containing layers of her womb; her form defining; her scent now blended with her mother, calling out to her children.
As the now passed queen’s cells begin withering, the butterflies whose dreams the new queen will cherish turn upon the softness of the breeze in mid flit.
Flexing their gossamer wings
they fly away from the past and head towards the upcoming promise of tomorrow.
LONG LIVE THE BUTTERFLY QUEEN