Beautiful Bandits

Beautiful Bandits

I recently read a Forbes list of the ten most stressful jobs and was not surprised to see Event Coordinator noted as #5 behind Police Officer, Airline Pilot, Firefighter, and Military Personnel. As a thirty-year event planner and ‘code red junkie’ this winter I moaned, “I need a time out.” Right about the time Trump was threatening travel bans and swearing to build the wall. True to my nature, I picked Mexico City. I wanted to see where all those migrating Monarch Butterflies retreat to over winter.

I figured if these tiny creatures weighing less than a paperclip can fly 3,000 miles from Canada through the States and over the Mexican border without a GPS or passport illegally for centuries, and to the same place… I should find out why? Six hours later I checked into a hotel in Mexico City and the next morning at 7am I was on my way into the Michoacan Mountains. Four hours later in El Rosario a mule-horse was humbly transporting me deep into the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary at an altitude of 12,000 feet.

In sneakers still embedded with NYC grime, I quietly entered a cathedral of towering pine trees layered in ‘millions’ of orange, black and white Monarchs, wings closed at rest. A fragrance of pine, cedar and wild violets surrounded me. All I could do was smile as the sun stroked the trees and butterflies fluttered on cue off branches taking a wing stretch. A cool fire of color under a cobalt sky (silent Wow-wee!) There is NO talking in the sanctuary, I was grouped with a dozen older citizen scientists sitting on tree stumps taking it all in very casually. I wanted to burst with excitement in New Yorker volume, but contained myself. However, true to my nature I whispered to a scholarly gentleman, “Excuse me sir, do you know why the Monarchs come here?” He looked up into the trees knowingly and shared, “To rest, sip nectar, mate, and fly.”

Somebody slap me, shouldn’t we all? Next time you need a time out… do it. Take flight!

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