This story was inspired by a strange chain of events that did include me saving a caterpillar one day, finding a root formation that formed a natural loophole, and being surrounded for a moment by a lot of butterflies as I made my down to where I saw the loophole formation. No, I did not get swarmed by butterflies and turn into a young woman. I wish! However, I was inspired to write this little story and include it in the Word Garden with a photo of Nature's Loophole I took the day I discovered it.
The old woman made her way carefully along the river bank. She had found this spot when she was still young enough to easily hike down to it. Now it was very tough going for her. But she gripped the walking stick that had helped her hike so many trails along life's journey, and with great care and determination made it to the place she wanted to be.
She was glad to see the root forming a loophole was still there, and remarkably unchanged. When she had first seen that natural formation she had flashed to her days as a paralegal, and from then on thought of it as Nature's Loophole. The old woman smiled as she thought of that day she had first seen this formation. How much joy something as simple as finding it had brought her. Hers had been interesting, if sometimes very hard life at times. She had seen more than her fair share of pain and sorrow. But, she had also seen a lot of joy and happiness.
As she stood gazing at the formation, a butterfly flew through the loophole. And suddenly she remembered a day long long ago when she had saved a caterpillar. The caterpillar had crawled over the pool edge, then fallen in. Because she loved butterflies so much, she got back in the pool, carefully rescued the caterpillar, and set it free at the base of a nearby tree.
Suddenly that one butterfly was joined by many many others. They flittered and fluttered all around the old woman. Then more butterflies flew through the loophole. Within seconds the old woman was completely surrounded by butterflies. Some covered her. The rest began to fly widdershins around her in one huge fluttering colorful mass.
At first this alarmed her because true Wiccan Wise Woman that she was, she knew that was not normally the right direction for positive Magick. But how could butterflies be evil? Then she heard a soft whispery voice, that seemed to be coming from the butterflies say, "Trust your instincts." So the old woman stilled herself, and did not panic when the very breath of life itself seemed to be sucked from her by those many fluttering wings.
The mass of butterflies circling her slowly stilled as well. Then began to swirl again. This time in a clockwise direction. As they swirled around her the butterflies that had covered ever inch of her began to join the swirling mass. As they did she began to breath easily again. In fact, far more easily than she had breathed in years.
As she watched the swirling mass of butterflies begin to disperse and go off in several different directions she realized there had been many species of butterflies in that swirling mass that had surrounded and covered her. Then one butterfly flew back to her, and for a just a second, landed on the hand still holding her walking stick.
Her eye of course had been drawn to the butterfly as it had landed on her hand. But now she stared in disbelief at the hand itself. It was no longer the gnarly wrinkled hand that had gripped the walking stick coming down to the river bank. It was now the hand of a young woman. As was the arm attached to the hand. And the moment her free hand flew to her face, she knew it too was now the face of a much younger woman.
She didn't understand the how and why of had just happened completely. But she knew that it somehow had something to do with saving that caterpillar so long ago, and her naming that formation Nature's Loophole later on. The spell she had unwittingly cast doing those two things had resulted in magick finding a way through that natural loophole in a most amazing way.