THE STONE AND THE BUTTERFLY
Once upon a time there was a butterfly.
Full of colors, it flew and it was light, and you saw it, and thought it was serene and looking for flowers.
As a small rainbow in its bumpy flight, large wings like lights going on and off.
As a matter of fact, it was praying, a prayer of envy and regret. And it prayed for his Lord, and “Lord,”he said, “look at that stone. My life only lasts a day, a day of hidden dangers and fears and I will never see my children. The life of that stone will be for millennia, millennia of quiet peace, without the panic of beaks, hooks and cobwebs.”
– And while it thus prayed, the butterfly wept and did not hear. It did not listen to the stone that was praying, a heartfelt and sad prayer. – “Lord,” said the stone, “Lord! For millions of years I have been under the ground, hidden to the glory of the Sun. And when at last I saw you, O Sun, I saw you just to know that you are so far away. And I see myself, motionless, dusty and gray. And I see butterflies, lively and colorful and vividly brilliant. One day something will cover me, and I’ll can do nothing but recall; remember a day of light, and cry.”
– Thus prayed the stone and thus prayed the butterfly, and the Lord smiled. And the butterfly listened to the prayers of the stone, and the stone listened to the butterfly. And they began to speak, and the butterfly verbalized rivers and distant woods, insects and strange relatives, and had grandparents, grandparents of its grandparents and future grandchildren. And the stone pictured the cousins of meteorites, the secrets of the mountains, the birth of crystals. – And the butterfly said that its remains would become dust, and dust stone, and that it too, one day would know. And the stone was said that dust would become flower, and flower butterfly, and that it, too, would one day fly. – And the Lord listened to these words, and knew they were words of love. The butterfly wanted to become a stone, and the stone a butterfly, and the Lord was moved and smiled, and smiling, the Lord appeased them. And thus that Opal was born, you’ll never know if it’s a stone turned into a butterfly or whether it is a butterfly turned into a stone.
From “Pietre Non Ordinarie”
by Paolo Severi