Color of spring

April 11, 2019

I was out with coco for a walk when I saw her. She lay there quietly like a fallen leaf, her bright wings, the color of spring against the paved earth. I bent down and touched her. Her wings, a part of it still folded, lay there limp. But a tiny foot moved fiercely in protest. She had probably just come out of her cocoon and had fallen down before her wings got strong. So I lifted her gently and put her on a bush with red flowers, sheltering her behind a large leaf. When I came back, she had fallen again. An ant now stood there, probing her thoughtfully. Soon her tribe would follow. I could have left her there to become ant food, as nature probably intended, but to know that someone was being devoured alive while you went about your day seemed just not right. So I took her home and put her on a little potted thyme that sat on my writing desk by the window. This time she hung on strongly. After a few hours when she started to slowly inspect the leaves, I saw hope. Probably a little food in her belly would help. So after googling on what to do, I mixed a teaspoon of honey in some water. But there was no cup or bowl small enough to feed her without the risk of her falling in it. So I unscrewed a bottle and poured some in the plastic cap. I then placed her on the edge of the little drink bowl and gently unfolded her proboscis with a toothpick and into the bowl. She sat there for a moment as if making up her mind. Probably my looming presence scared her. After all to her, I was just one big moving blob. So I hid behind the chair and watched, not expecting much to happen. And then suddenly, just like that, her tiny reed like mouth began to feed. I don’t know whether I was more amazed at the sight or more gratified that a tiny being had accepted my offering, our two grossly different worlds meeting in that one singular action. She stayed with me for the next three days, sipping her meals and eyeing me with her big beady eyes from her perch on the thyme. But she never did fly, her wings all bright and beautiful, but meaningless. And one morning she lay down still again. I touched those soft velvety wings, the bright yellow staining my hand. But this time her foot did not answer. So I buried her below the lemon bush in the balcony. And now as I watch the tree laden with fruit, turning colours in the winter sun, I wonder if her yellow of her wing had a part to play after all in this unending magic of life.

 

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