I love sunshine and warm weather, so as soon as the temps started rising in March of this year, I have wanted to spend a lot of my time walking and relaxing in nature. I’ve been living in a coastal city for a few years and always enjoyed visiting the beach, but lately I seek places that are more secluded and less likely to attract tourists. In the past year, it’s been really hard and overwhelming sometimes to be among crowds of people, so I usually try to visit the local parks at times when few people are likely to be there.
A couple weeks ago, I discovered a park a few minutes away from my place and have already visited it a few times since then. During my second visit there, I found a wonderful, secluded spot by the lake where the trees and brush have been cleared enough for me to spread out a blanket to sit and read a book or take in the scenery. As I explored this small area, I saw a group of four large swallowtail butterflies on the ground near the water’s edge. Out of curiosity, I approached them, and all but one butterfly flew away. This one that stayed allowed me to touch it several times.
On Wednesday, I went back to the same spot by the water, and this time a smaller dark brown butterfly with small white and orange spots kept landing on my shoes. I was able to touch this one, too. Every time someone would walk past us, the butterfly would fly away and return back to my shoes once the person was out of sight. During the last hour that I sat there, the butterfly spent more than half the time either on my shoes or on my tote bag that was next to me on the blanket.
A few months ago, back in April, I had a dream in which a guy who owned a metaphysical store announced to all the customers that I was the queen of butterflies. It was significant to me at the time because butterflies are associated with metamorphosis and the dramatic transformations we go through during a spiritual awakening. I was having a difficult time yesterday with feeling so isolated and disconnected from almost everyone around me. Maybe my beautiful little friend came over to sit with me to remind me that I am not truly alone and that I will continue growing and evolving. These beautiful creatures successfully make their transition from the old into the new just as we are capable of doing if we embrace the painful but necessary changes.
My butterfly experiences made me start wondering why some people appear to attract animals more than others. Animals are especially sensitive to energy, and it doesn’t take long to realize that when you put excited children around a cat. At the cat adoption center where I volunteer, the cats enjoy gathering around me to receive affection. As soon as a family with small children enters the room, the cats often scatter to various corners, while some hide underneath the cages. These children will ask me why the cats are scared, and I have to explain to them that cats prefer a calm environment. As crazy as it seems now, I remember catching wild kittens and bringing them into the house when I was very young. I think I’ve always had the ability to empathize with what feels natural and comfortable to an animal.
My boyfriend and I have noticed that when we go to a park, animals, such as geese and ducks, tend to stay near us while they avoid everyone else. We recently stopped by a local gift shop for the first time and discovered that the owner keeps two cats there. An employee warned us that the black female cat isn’t usually friendly toward people, but she turned into a purring love machine once I petted her, and she continued to follow us out the store as we were leaving. My boyfriend and I are both reserved and introverted, so perhaps animals simply feel more comfortable around people who give off a mellow vibe. Maybe they also sense the purity or kindness in someone’s heart that makes them feel more loving and social. Whatever the explanation is, I am grateful for moments when I am able to connect with one of Mother Earth’s creatures.
The other topic I briefly wanted to mention is spirit animals. I have noticed how certain animals will repeatedly appear in my life for several days, weeks, or months at a time. I saw hawks frequently all last year. I saw lizards frequently a month ago. In these past few weeks, it’s been butterflies. I see dragonflies from time to time, as well. When we repeatedly see a certain type of animal that seems drawn to us, I think it’s worth looking into a possible message that the universe is trying to communicate to us through nature. Just like synchronicities, I believe these subtle messages are frequently being sent to us, but you must remain aware to notice them.
Has anyone else noticed how animals seem to be more attracted to certain people? What do you think explains it? Have you noticed any specific animals that frequently appear in your life?