Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Metamorphosis-Thoughts on The Butterfly

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your
grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.

~Rabindranath Tagore

Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have
sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”

~Hans Christian Anderson

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.

~Carl Sagan

This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.

~William Butler Yeats, “Another Song of a Fool”

Not quite birds, as they were not quite flowers, mysterious and
fascinating as are all indeterminate creatures.

~Elizabeth Goudge

The butterfly, a cabbage-white,
(His honest idiocy of flight)
Will never now, it is too late,
Master the art of flying straight.

~Robert Graves, “Flying Crooked”

Know thyself!  A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly.  Whoever observes
himself arrests his own development.  A caterpillar who wanted to know
itself well would never become a butterfly.

~Andre Gide

Do ye not comprehend that we are worms,
Born to bring forth the angelic butterfly
That flieth unto judgment without screen?

~Dante Alighieri

Bees sip honey from flowers and hum their thanks when they leave.
The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him.

~Rabindranath Tagore
 Stray Birds

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes
it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

~Maya Angelou

The fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can effect climate changes on the
other side of the planet.

~Paul Erlich

And the case of butterflies so rich it looks
As if all summer settled there and died.

~Philip Larkin, “Autumn”

Once I read a story about a butterfly in the subway, and today I saw one.  
It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th, where, I assume it was going
to Bloomingdales to buy a hat that will turn out to be a mistake – as
almost all hats are.

~Nikolaus Laszlo, Nora Ephron, and Delia Ephron

Butterfly quilts are still much sought after and beautifully popular. As symbols of re-birth and metamorphosis, we are drawn to their symbolic imagery of awakening to a new life, new opportunities and the chance to be 'born again' into all that we wish and dream we might become.


  1. Wow Michele... so many beautiful butterflies! I love all the quilts. I still have a bag of butterfly blocks.. quilted somewhat like your batik butterfly, that I won when I went to a quilt retreat back in 2004. Everyone attending made a block and signed their name on it.. and I won! I have wonderful blocks of all colors and yet to put them into a quilt. One is signed by my aunt, who died the following year (so precious to me) and another by my sister, who is still quilting up a storm! I love the first quote here! hugs.. Marilyn

  2. You are amazing yourself Marilyn. Never forget that.