Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Butterfly Effect

Spread your wings, Garden Pond, Amherst, NH, September 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/380 sec @ f2.8, ISO 50, no flash © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Have you ever watched a butterfly closely? So delicate, so graceful, so relaxed, so unhurried.

Why not spread your wings and follow its lead. Can you tread lightly upon this earth, floating from place to place? Can you offer a smile, and a kind word to everyone you meet, full of grace? Can you take a deep breath and let your mind settle down, and relax to your Authentic Self? Can you slow your tempo, and observe more of the world around you, patient and unburdened by those racing to and fro?

You see, it is that easy to become a butterfly yourself. Floating along, in wonder. Alighting here and there, barely noticed. Except that your radiance shines forth and catches some attention. And causes those who see to pause, and contemplate becoming a butterfly themselves.

And when you get stuck on the need to force a change in the world you see, remember the butterfly effect:
The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or, for that matter, prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.

-- extracted from Wikipedia


Pat said...

What an amazingly beautiful photo! Mother nature takes no notice of coordinating colors, eh? What a powerful example of celebration!

Steven Crisp said...

Thanks Pat. It is amazing what you can do with a digital camera and a patient subject. I actually had four to choose from -- they must be migrating through. And they'd just sit in the early morning light and spread their wings, back and forth. Quite a treat for the eyes.

slskenyon said...

That's an interesting way of looking at things. I was always amazed by just how delicate butterflies are. And then again, what kind of an effect they can have. Maybe if we were all like that, we could also make a difference and see the world from a better perspective.

Steven Crisp said...


Yes, you've picked up on my point exactly. Think back to the time when something small had a very big influence on you. Or maybe someone else really left an impression, or perhaps a few kind words at the right time was an inspiration for someone else.

Any one of those events could be a trigger event for a snowball effect. Or not. But the potential is there. And in that, enough reward for you to have the intention to gently flap your wings, and look stunningly beautiful in the process. Isn't that the way to live?

You know what 'they' say: if not you, who? If not then, when?

Bart said...

I have only one word for this: wow!

Steven Crisp said...

And Bart, I have only one word for your visit and comment: thanksalot!

Anonymous said...

Nice picture of the butterfly. I often notice moths on my runs in Germany. How do they know to fly in pairs like that? There must be soem kind of connection, such a s a pheremone release that connects them. So many things are connected in so many ways. Ways which we can not understand completely (except perhaps at death?, times of total enlightenment?).

Oh and to your point ... Theodoe Roosevelt said: "walk softly and carry a big stick." Well that's not exactly what Roosevelt meant but it's related.

Steven Crisp said...


Always the scientist looking for the mechanism, and the capitalist, looking for the carrot (and stick ;-).

I agree it is amazing how interconnected everything is, and how difficult it is to understand it when we look at it from the bottom up (atomistic perspective). Easier for a wholistic paradigm.

Makes so much sense. And contributes to a world view that "scales".