Friday, May 31, 2013

Twinkle's butterfly

I was sure I had blogged about this, long ago, back when it happened, but it seems I didn't. I went looking for it, and I'm really sad I didn't record it when it happened, because it was sublime and I owed it to my future self to get it down.

It happened in the weeks after Twinkle died. It was early in November, and I went out on one of my little photo walks. This one wasn't far. Not all that far from where I live, the Don Valley Parkway crosses York Mills Road. What's now the DVP/Hwy 404 between Lawrence and Steeles Avenues was, till the 1960s and 1970s Woodbine Avenue (and still is, north of Steeles). South of York Mills it was just a little dirt road that died on the heights and never made it down to Lawrence. There are still little hints of it, and I tried to get to one of them on the east side of the DVP just north of York Mills Road, but I couldn't. Fenced off. So I started back.

A monarch butterfly caught my eye and I watched it land in the middle of the strange interchange between York Mills and the DVP. I can't remember now whether it landed in the middle of a lane, or on the line between lanes, but it was someplace generally safe from the tires. I stood there for, I don't know, maybe five minutes, waiting for it, urging it, to take off. But it just sat there. Lights would change. Cars would charge. I kept fearing the worst, but it was never run over. Finally I couldn't take it anymore, and between lights, I went out, picked it up gently, and set it down on the grass on the far side of the sidewalk. I have no idea what happened next. Odds are, it was already dying. But I did what I could.

The butterfly reminded me of Twinkle... her strong tortie banding, black and orange; not subtle like Bonnie's was. I had to stand there watching Twinkle in the middle of her road. There was too much traffic, and urging her was all I could do. But this I could fix. This was in my power to set right, and I did. I can't believe it's taken a year and a half to write about it.

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