It’s been said the flap of a butterfly’s wings can change the course of history, marking the difference between a tsunami and a sunny day a thousand miles away.
The butterflies surrounding the statue of Madre Cosecha flutter day and night. Each tiny puff of dust kicked up by each tiny, determined beat travels farther and wider than the mind can fathom, stirring the fly who irritates the blue iguana lazing by the riverside,
who plunges into the murky water, creating ripples upon ripples upon ripples that travel to the far bank and rebound back, intermingling with themselves in an undulating grid that weaves a story that maybe no one will hear.
Maybe no one. And maybe someone.
I stand by the statue of Madre Cosecha and feel the gentle beat of the butterflies’ wings and I wonder: how many paths for my life radiate from this spot? I can choose but one path, and there is no wrong choice, but my heart aches with longing for the paths I will never take.
I want to know. What would my life be if I hadn’t bought that lot in Brindleton Bay?
If I’d never traveled to Selvadorada?
If Daniel hadn’t been working the market stall that day?
If I’d pulled the right lever instead of the left?
Who would I be? Where would I go? What might I discover? If only there was a way to know!
With each choice, with each step, the landscape changes and the paths diverge farther and farther apart.
“Shhh . . . “ whisper the butterflies, “Shhhh . . “.
Madre Cosecha smiles benignly. “Shhhh,” say her eyes.
Even my name, Cherie Sharebears, seems to whisper to me. “Shhhhh. Don’t worry about it. You think too much. Why don’t you just go pet that dog?”
So I do.
He’s a good dog. Adventurous. A dog for taking on long walks down uncertain paths. A dog who knows the right time to yank on a leash to stir a person out an endless reverie. A dog to say, “This way. This is the way. We don’t know what lies at the end of this path, but we need to find out.”
My name is Cherie Sharebears, and this is the path I chose, this time. This is where one of my stories starts.