“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field....” —Matthew 13:44 (nrsv)
I don’t see anything.” I stared up into a Monterey pine, a tangle of branches and pale green needles. We were in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula, a long-anticipated family vacation. Monarch butterflies spend winters nestled in stands of pines and eucalyptus along the peninsula’s fog-enshrouded coast.
Except we hadn’t seen any butterflies. “Where are the butterflies, Daddy?” Frances asked. Benji lost interest and canvassed the ground for sticks.
So far this trip had been less than ideal, with rain forecast throughout our entire stay. The kids bounced off the walls of our small motel room. “It was almost better at home,” Kate said.
Suddenly her face lit up. “I see one!” she cried. We all looked.
“There.” She pointed to a branch. “The undersides of their wings are brown. When they’re closed up you can hardly see them. There must be dozens of them.”
The kids and I squinted. “I see them!” cried Frances. And then I did too. What I had mistaken for leaves were actually countless monarchs huddled on thebranch. Suddenly, several of the butterflies launchedinto flight. Their orange wings flashed. They swooped and looped. The kids clapped.
Kate and I looked at each other. What other blessings had we been blind to on this trip? “Let’s look at the other trees,” Kate said to the kids. “I bet there are loads more butterflies around here.” We looked, and Kate was right.
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