Playing with my mother. Augusta, Georgia. / Hide and seek (Cache-cache). Berthe Morisot. 1873. Collection of Mrs. John Hay Whitney, New York. This painting features Morisot's pregnant sister, Edma, with her daughter Jeanne.
And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, and soap-bubbles, and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy happiness.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Following the birth of my second child, the butterfly held special meaning. In fact, the resonance of that symbol inspired me to name our family home, a crookedy sharecropper's cottage that we renovated north of Atlanta, "Butterfly Cottage." In the areas immediately adjacent to it, I also designed and planted a series of gardens which featured a wide selection of shrubs and flowers noted for their ability to attract butterflies. Camus would likely hold that the cottage and those gardens were the ways I breathed life into a personal myth. - - A feminine myth (Autumn 2009)
The ancients Greeks originally depicted the soul or spirit as a stick figure with wings. The butterfly/moth as a symbol of spirit and its potential for transformation originated from that source. The myth of Psyche and Eros (Cupid) is a mythological metaphor for the feminine journey toward consciousness. Psyche is the Greek word for both soul and butterfly.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. - - Proverb