An extract from my diary of 12th October 2018:
Today, a white butterfly caught my eye as it flew briefly through the tiny garden of our ground-floor flat and as the wee airborne insect fluttered about, I was reminded of an event of many years ago.
It was 1970 and I had just exited the family home in Fitzwilliam Place in Dublin heading towards the city centre. I was on my own and the weather was fine. I remember passing Fitzwilliam Square, an urban haven of greenery, trees and harmony, and as I did so, a white butterfly suddenly landed on my left shoulder. Whilst not breaking my stride, I glanced at this beautiful presence expecting it to fly away at any moment but my impudent yet fine-looking visitor seemed very much at ease on this mobile resting place.
As a 15-year old boy, I was truly fascinated at what had happened and I did eventually slow down and stopped in my tracks as I couldn't take my eyes off this marvellous interloper still calmly seated on my shoulder. I noticed the outline of its translucent white wings varying in whiteness, its exquisitely-thin body and the two small antennae gently moving to and fro. To and fro. I walked on and I recall an upsurge of happiness inside me as I pondered on why this delicate, tiny creature of the air with gossamer-like wings had chosen me as a new friend; someone to trust.
I wondered if this was an omen of some sort: was I good person or perhaps I might not be a good person and this butterfly was sent as a warning so that I might mend my ways and banish any evil tendencies lurking in my soul. Would I lead a long and happy life, I mused, or would some other pathway be mine?
My miraculous butterfly remained with me for ages and I felt emboldened with its presence as I left Fitzwilliam Square far behind me. In a way that I couldn't explain, I felt a connection with this new-found companion. I felt happy. Happy.
Then, with a sense of drama to match its exciting arrival, all of a sudden my friendly butterfly flew away and as it faded from my vision, I felt a twinge of sadness that I had lost someone close. I was alone again.
Perhaps, the white butterfly of today just spotted in my compact urban garden was a reincarnation of that Irish winged friend all those years ago.