Mystical Butterfly


Part 1: The North Wind
Part 2: The Tiger Eye
This is Part 3 of the series.
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In the foothills of the great mountains, lay an ancient mystic land where peace prevails and tranquility rules, all beings, big or small, respected. Amidst the lush greenery, the pure waters and the sweet scent of the air, it is the place where one feels the presence of divine spirit within oneself.

In these green gardens, there lives the legend of a butterfly, with big wings displaying rich and vibrant colors. The butterfly is majestic but its importance far surpasses mere looks. It is said that the butterfly holds the mystery of good luck and happiness. Just a glimpse of it unravels the secret of life. But, it is not an easy spot. Locals say that the butterfly can be seen at the time when darkness meets light, any second later it is gone, not to be seen again, sometimes for many years altogether. People from far and wide come to the monastery situated in the hills in search of this rare mystical butterfly.

Enya too came here in search of the butterfly. Being the inquisitive soul, that she was, Enya wanted to know so much from the monks of the monastery. Her questions yielded wise answers.
But, she never seemed to be satisfied with the answers when she asked, What is the value of life?

Finally, one of the monks advised her to meet the Old one. He was their master. Very old and very wise. People say he traveled far and wide and finally came to this place, so long ago that no one knows who he is and where he came from. Although a bit of a recluse, he was a kind person often known to help the locals and they affectionately called him Hajurbuba, the Old one. Enya was told that she could find him every dawn at the temple steps overlooking the butterfly gardens. But to reach that, she had to climb a thousand steps, to meet the old one and to try her luck to see the butterfly.

The first day, by the time she finally climbed those thousand steps, it was already bright. The sun had risen and there was no sight of the butterfly or Hajurbuba.
The second day, Enya decided to start early, the cool morning breeze ruffled her dark brown hair. She started climbing the flight of steps, but soon she got tired, yet she moved on with the anticipation building in her, "Will I be able to make it in time? Can I see the butterfly? Wonder how the old one would be? Will he even answer my questions? Sigh! Why do they not let us keep our watches, I don't even know what time it is!" She reached the top earlier than the day before but still there was no sign of the old one or the butterfly. Enya was glum. For two days she had been running up the thousand steps in vain. She returned, tired and disheartened, to wait until the next dawn.
The third day, she started even earlier than before. She could still see faint stars twinkling in the night sky. As she proceeded she could hear distant chirping of early birds, the usual cool breeze brushing her hair. She felt less tired today and less concerned about what lies on top of the steps. It was just this flight of steps that was giving her a sense of spontaneous joy. Although still quite dark, it was brighter as she neared the top. She saw the tall trees around the temple and even spotted a few fledglings hopping around their nest, gearing up for their first flight.

Before she knew it she had already reached the top of the steps, overlooking the famed mystical garden. At such an elevation, the place felt like heaven on Earth. She could see the entire valley! It was almost what one would call dawn, she thought. At a far end she saw the silhouette of a monk. As she neared, she saw faint wrinkles on his otherwise radiant skin. Only his eyebrows could hold the testimony of his age. They were not grey, they were white! Without saying a word, he pointed at a direction in the garden. The sky had turned purple and faint rays of sun could be seen making their way through the darkness. Enya was awestruck as she looked at the garden and saw multitudes of butterflies, flying out from under the leaves of the floral collage. It wasn't just as she had heard. It wasn't mystical, it was very normal. Its magnificence was in its being so normal. This was something she had never seen before. More importantly, this was something she never realized before. It was beautiful, just like a dream.

Enya followed the monk into the garden. She saw half eaten leaves left by the caterpillars and the empty cocoons from which the butterflies just flew out and the butterflies basking on the flowers under the morning sun. The monk said, "Change is eternal. We spend our lives seeking our pattern in chaos. But chaos has an order of its own." To Enya this knowledge seemed so freeing. All her questions seemed meaningless then. Over the years, in her countless voyages, Enya never felt this sense of fulfillment across any land. She made herself believe, she is a traveler, destined to travel but at the end of it all, echoed in her head wise words from a wise man.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” 
(Ernest Hemingway)

Dozing off on the big wing chair for a quick siesta was not really his habit. But on a rather quiet afternoon, his old green eyes would often droop out of control. The tinkle at the gates while the children giggled in woke the old man up and he rushed in to make for himself a warm cup of tea.

What happens next? Read Part 4: A New Beginning

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