Every year when the warm air begins to hug me, I feel butterflies in my belly. With toes freed by sandals and strolls in the sunshine, my stomach flutters about like a kaleidoscope of monarchs. The feeling is like the flutters you get when you really, really like someone or when you brave an upside-down rollercoaster. Inside my body I’m doing somersaults and I burst into random bouts of joy. I can’t help but smile and let this wild feeling overtake me, washing over me and leaving me to dry out in the sun.
I’m not sure why I get this feeling in the spring. Usually this is the time when the blues begin to lift, and I can see a glimmer of something special in the future.
One year it began on a slackline. The thrill of staying balanced went up through my legs and I felt safe as I fell to the ground. Then, I had the courage to dig my feet back into the blue, flat line. The next year I felt it when I walked through the thicket behind my old house into the Murray cemetery. That spring I ran, beating the pavement more and more as I expanded my route every day. Last year I began feeling this feeling during a 10-hour long van drive from the lakes of Kentucky to the shores of Florida. The white sand and wave sounds greeted me with peace, freedom, and the most love I have ever felt.
This year is different. In the winter I didn’t dip into the depths of the blues, I stayed afloat with the occasional dive. I’m on the eve of world travel, ready to take on the new places and meet new people of the world, falling in love one step at a time. The butterflies came one sunny day when I was walking on the campus I have grown out of. Here, in Murray, it is safe.
Lately I have been very sentimental, trying to prepare myself to leave this place and the people here who have walked along side me even when my feet felt like lead. There is a future and glory set before me, and I am nervous. But, as I walk on campus the song of the birds from the trees tickle my ears and my nervous flutters turn to flutters of joy again.
There is mystery and uncertainty, but I know that the most secure thing I can hold onto is Jesus. During the winter he is near, even in the bare trees and cold hard ground, but in the spring, he welcomes us with budding trees and surprise blooms, wrapping us in his beauty like arms giving a hug.
Regardless of how I feel, I am confident my feet are on solid ground. Still, I love thinking about mystery of the butterflies fluttering around in my belly. They are beautiful creatures, drinking in flowers so that others may bloom. They give us a wonderful display of transformation, starting as a hungry caterpillar, then forming their chrysalis so they can spread their wings and fly into the world.