Last night we drove into Chicago to celebrate a friend's 50th. birthday. His party was held in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, located in parkland north of the city center. As you would expect there was much happiness with good food, great friends and lively music. But what hit me most of all was an experience early on.
Since the party was held in the nature museum we were allowed to enter the butterfly haven. I had never been in one before and had little idea what to expect. Going through double sets of doors, we entered a tropical garden, with trees, pools of water and exotic plants. It was approaching dusk and the lighting was low. Entering we passed beneath low branches of an overhanging tree. Acclimatizing to the heat and light suddenly I saw them. Tens of extraordinarily colored butterflies, hanging down just above our heads. All different shapes and sizes. Then I realized that as you looked they were everywhere. Yes, everywhere! Actually around a 1000 butterflies of some 75 species! Some as large as small birds swooping high above us. Others opening their gorgeous wings on luxuriant leaves, or fluttering from plant to plant. It was just stunning. If you were still they landed gently on you. One friend's bald head attracted particular attention!
Isn't it marvelous that there are so many ways that you can be awe-struck at the extravagant beauty of God's creation. I confess that I had never stopped for more than a minute to marvel at butterflies before! Butterflies are one of our 50 year old friends special interests (and why his wife had chosen this as a surprise venue for him!) And I was thrilled to be surprised too, and to marvel afresh.