Wind gusts blew through the Mission courtyard, rippling the murky waters in the Fountain of the Four Evangelists. The monarch toppled upside down on her lavender stalk, and when I zoomed closer, I realized that one of her wings was torn.
She clung to that flower for the longest while, underside showing, as if willing those breezes to either fling her loose or to help set her upright again.
Bells rang. A wedding party streamed out of Serra Chapel, bumping past me as they followed the bride and groom down the sidewalk. I looked away for a moment and the butterfly was gone. I'm sorry I missed her return to the skies, but I'm happy she found her freedom.
For my mother, who would've been 74 years old today. She loved flowers and birds and mountain streams and such, and she taught me to appreciate Mother Nature.