"“I hope you've found something special that's worth sitting on the ground for." The voice broke my concentration, and my perfectly aligned camera lens shifted a fraction of an inch.
The inquiry was perfectly natural. There I was in the middle of a State Park, flat on my belly, with my camera pointed at a few dead leaves.
"Oh, I've found something worth crawling on my belly for," I responded, half focused on the conversation, half focused on the object of my attention.
"What's that?" the curious woman asked, straining to catch a glimpse of the thing that totally engulfed my vision.
Highly experienced in the fine art of pointing out small insects, I slowly stood, and then positioned the shadow of my finger so that it pointed directly at the desired object.
There on the soft Cape May sand was an American Copper; an insect so magnificent it has earned a place in my heart as my favorite butterfly. But what it possesses in charm it lacks in size, being about the same size as my thumbnail.
The intruder into my serene moment look bewildered, noticeably giving off the impression that she didn't see the attraction.
"Here, take a look-see on my camera," I said, displaying the picture I had taken before she had come along.
"Wow," she blurted, spurred on by the simple elegance of this small creature.
Why do I hold the American Copper in such high regard? A fair question: do I admire it because of its vibrant colors? Probably not, as a Copper among a group of sub-tropical butterflies would surely fade into the background.
Do I appreciate this critter due to its hardiness? For the most part, a butterfly's life is as transient as a summer cloud.
Its predatory skills? No.
Its ability to fly long distances? Maybe.
Its adroitness at balancing budgets? He could be worse...
But as I ruminate upon the Copper's existence, I begin to feel a certain respect for its simplicity. Humanity today has little room for the simple. The woman at the park was an exception to the majority who would much rather walk by the extravagantly simplistic things of life. The less of the elemental the world has to deal with, the better.
But as for me, the simple pleasures hold charms that keep calling me back. A bike ride through a small town; watching a mama bird feed her young; listening to the sound of people laughing, these are the moments that continually grasp for my attention.
I often wonder how many small blessings I pass by as I look ahead for those loud, large gifts I expect on the horizon any day. It's alarming to contemplate the sweet memories that I have run by on the road to the bigger, brighter things that I feel God owes me. How often have I missed gifts at my feet when my eyes are fixed straight ahead, wondering what's next?
My impromptu companion and I stood silent, each finding something different in this marvelous creature to revere.
"Good thing you were here, or I'd have missed it," the Copper's fresh admirer admitted.
"Simple, isn't it?” I smiled, and then got back on the ground to admire the beauty of the basic once again.
I am sharing on Simple Pleasures Thursdays.