People in “the old days,” as my children would call them, used to talk about providence.
1. the foreseeing care and guidance of god or nature over the creatures of the earth.
2. God, especially when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
3. a manifestation of divine care or direction. (www.dictionary.com)
Nowadays, we are more apt to talk about randomness or chance, but I still dare to believe in those providential moments when something happens we were meant to be present for.
This morning, we woke up to discover two more butterflies had completed their metamorphosis. Only one is left in its crysalis, and we hadn’t seen any of them at the moment of their emergence. About a week ago, I transferred them from the little plastic cups that had been their homes while in larvae stage. During the process, one of the little guys fell from the ceiling of the butterfly house. I tried in vain to stick the little thread that suspended him with a piece of double-sided tape, and in the process, he fell again. We’d written him off, counted him as one of the ones who didn’t survive. (There were two others who never developed beyond tiny half-centimeter caterpillars.)
But this morning, as my son and I peeked into the butterfly house to see what everyone was doing, he saw movement. At first I didn’t believe him, but he continued to shout, “No, I see him, he’s moving. Look!” Sure enough, he was. But I knew his wings wouldn’t straighten out properly if he was lying on the bottom of the butterfly house, so I reached in, picked him up and held the crysalis by the little thread that was supposed to attach him to a leaf (or in this case a small piece of filter paper).
Everyone gathered to watch as he climbed out of the crysalis and onto my fingers. From there, I lifted him to one of the papers stuck to the ceiling of the butterfly house. His wings were able to dry and straighten out, just as they were intended to do.
We could easily have missed that magical moment. Our little butterfly could have hatched with no way to dry its little wings. Providence.