Today, I went to my mailbox at school and found a gift inside. There was a card with the above quote, “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly”. With it, were two packages of cocktail napkins with butterflies and inspirational quotes on them. A tiny little gift, from a friend at work, that meant so much to me. Not just the quote itself, but that she knew how much butterflies meant to me and knew that it would bring a smile to my face and it did.
Butterflies have had a significant meaning to me for about 7 years now. Back when my husband lost his job, our kids were still quite young and we knew that I would have to go back to work full time. It was a difficult time in our lives, and the stress of looking for work, no salary coming in was terrifying. I would walk DJ to school each morning and for several weeks, I kept noticing a yellow butterfly that “followed” me home…daily!! I knew it was silly, but I saw it everywhere. I had heard stories of “spirits” that came back in forms like that, but I had no one close to me that had died, so that meant nothing to me.
I could not figure out what the meaning behind this yellow butterfly was. I told everyone about it trying to figure it out but it was really just something fun to talk about. Dave just laughed and brushed it off as a coincidence. Then, one morning, I was on my way to the gym when I stepped inside and saw a yellow butterfly lying right outside the door. Of course, by now, it was becoming a little peculiar. I got on the treadmill at the gym, opened a magazine and the page it fell open to, had a two page spread with the word, “Butterflies” in huge letters written across both pages. Yellow butterflies were all over those pages. I took the magazine home, put it right in Dave’s face and said, “still think it is just a coincidence?” Even he had to admit it was a bit bizarre.
About a week later, I had an interview at a school in town. I walked into the building and a big sign in the lobby read, “Our butterflies hatched today”. Of course I thought that could only mean it would be a positive interview and I’d get the job!! Nope. Great interview, but did not get it. Discouraged and still so confused about these yellow butterflies I went home. A few days later, I had another interview at another school in town. I walked DJ to school that morning and sure enough, there was “ole yellow” following me home. I talked to it, (like a crazy person), asking it what it was trying to tell me!!!!
I got to my interview and sat on the bench outside of the principal’s office. Waiting patiently for my turn. I was looking around the office, taking it all in, when I looked up over the door where the interview would be taking place. There, over the door, bigger than I could span my arms, was an enormous yellow cellophane butterfly hanging. I could not help but smile, lose all nervousness and walk into that office filled with confidence. It was the best interview I had ever had – and sure enough, I got the job! Now almost seven years later, I have never been happier in a teaching job. I still see yellow butterflies around. Not as often, but they are around, and now they just fill me with joy, knowing how that yellow butterfly led me on a journey that has brought me to a place where I love to work, love the staff and love the community. When one flutters by me now, I just smile.