I met a Butterfly on a full moon night in May.
And twice more after.
Always on a full moon.
He called me Princess. I called him Mr. Butterfly
There is something magical about the moon. A mystery, an unknown energy that keeps us awake at night, devouring the moment that passed and leaving us wonder if it is ever going to last. As we walked that warm full moon night in a sleepy old mountain town in Japan, he shared his old man’s wisdom and I listened carefully.
I tried to remember and understand each line, of knowledge and life experiences collected from his many years passed. His hand softly resting on the low of my back, protecting, guiding, while I felt tiny wings of a thousand butterfly rising in my belly. My senses impaired, my lips numb, I grew speechless, but a smile blooming from ear to ear. Never ending. Never ceasing. Like those tiny fluttering wings.
I could not remember the last time I had this feeling. The bitter past had somehow closed my heart to love and although I had long thought that I had moved on, I often felt numb and fled at the first sign of pain.
"Why do you build your wall so thick and high? Be fearless in life. Take a risk. Know your self, what you want and don’t be afraid to be who you are. The past should not dictate you, not anymore".
And so he said, casually over a bottle of beer and an old Ella Fitzgerald record playing in a deserted retro jazz bar we found on the corner of the sleepy mountain town. Just him, me and a lonely barman smoking a cigar, and as the bleak surrounding disappeared, I wondered, do I know myself enough to pursue what I want fearlessly? Have I let go of my past? Or have I, all this time, been living in a shadow while deluding myself thinking that I have moved on?
I always thought I have let my old stories go. But as I looked into that pair of twinkling eyes, I wondered if I have all this time, been tightly bound by the values from the past, moving only a baby step forward while continuously being afraid to pursue what I want to be, who I want to be and be with. Has my fear of judgment cost me the chance to be genuinely happy?
"Learn to live for the moment. To be happy for what you have now, who you are with now. Pursue your desire and not let the moment passed you by. Take your chance, you have nothing to loose. If you worry too much about the future, you take away the joy of the present, of being in the present, and at the end losing the joy in both. The future never promises, but the present can make us dream of a brighter future, and this is the kind of dream that keeps everything alive. The one that makes us, feel alive,” he said. This time we were watching our second full moon together from the floor to ceiling window of a high rise building somewhere in the concrete jungle of my home town.
He was still the same as I remembered him from the months before, from those quiet nights we spent walking under the full moon. But I have changed. The moment I saw him, I knew that I wanted more than what he could probably give. And that was when I finally saw the sadness in his eyes, the same pair of twinkling eyes that captured my heart a few months before.
But still, I let go of my defenses and for once took my chances, to be fearless and let the heart be open. To break the wall and to not be afraid of tomorrow. To allow myself to transform like a caterpillar before turning into a flying butterfly. To be detached of the outcomes and to enjoy the thrill of the process instead. To expect none and be completely free. It’s like the practice of yoga, being applied in the matter of the heart – a practice of living in the moment, and letting go when the time comes.
He was 52.
I was 31.
He has lived.
My life has just started.
It was not easy. I found myself doubting and questioning and asking myself all the time. Am I doing the right thing? What is right and wrong when it comes to love? The mind takes over and the heart weakens, confronting and sometimes turning on the defense wall, only to find the universe playing its trick with a smile.
My friend once told me "I know that you have a dream. But you have to see the person for who he is. Not because he can make your dream come true. Do not let the dream cloud the reality. Follow your heart. Only you can make your dream comes true and no one else."
As the third full moon disappeared behind the mountains of Bali, and the sun rising with overwhelming pride, I bid the Butterfly goodbye and he smiled.
"Do not wonder when the next will time be. Time is only an illusion. But wonder where the next time will be. As life is an adventure, I will see you soon, with or without the full moon."
But I kind of like full moon: the magic, the mystery, the nurturing love energy.
Yet life is full of uncertainties.
The truth lies with every heartbeat.
And with every beat,
... I feel more Alive.
I did not see Mr. Butterfly until a year after. On the same month, in a different year, but not on a full moon. But the magic was still the same. And when we walked hand in hand, sharing our stories, I knew that what we had would always be special. With or without the full moon.
About Dewi Indawati Loho
Dewi is a hopeless romantic who believes in magic, love, dream and fairytales. She loves to travel, read, write and spend a lot of time with her pens and paper trying to capture images that run freely in her mind. On her down time, she can be found in the kitchen, baking her favorite cakes, or in her jewelry workshop in Ubud, playing with gemstones and all things beautiful.