by Tom Judge
(Lake Placid, Fl.)
We live in south central Florida. I'm working at cleaning my boat and have a chair in the shade of our garage.
As I washed the boat a small black and orange winged butterfly seemed to be following me around. The temperature is 90 degrees and I'm 83 years old, so I decided to go to the shade and relax a bit.
I sat down and my little friend followed. She landed on my hand. I called to my wife who was just entering our home but J.J. is hard of hearing. So she missed my call.
The butterfly stayed on my hand and then arm.
She seemed to be feeding with that long tongue and I wondered what she was enjoying. Was she getting salt from my perspiring hand and arm?
She moved onto the back of my hand and was gently moving her wings so I raised my hand within a foot of my face and gently blew. She responded by holding her wings upright together.
I quit blowing and she went back to gently moving her wings. The butterfly and I repeated this a number of times.
She seemed very contented with our new friendship.
Alas, I needed to return to my boat cleaning so I stood up and walked about fifteen feet to a bougainvillea flower. I held my hand so the flower touched her. She put her tongue into the flower and stepped off my hand onto the bush.
I started to walk away and she came with me, first on my shoulder and then to my hand. This obviously was a relationship she wasn't ready to end. I laughed and set down in my chair.
Much of our lives have been spent hunting, fishing and camping. We love wild animals. We only had dogs when our boys were young.
I knew how amazing this butterfly relationship is. My theory is she was attracted to my chi (qi), my newfound energy derived from over a year of daily practicing Qi gong and tai chi.
At 83 I am healthier than when I was 60. The butterfly was sipping my health. She got her fill and gently flew on her way after more than 30 minutes of a very pleasant relationship.