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If I wasn’t amazed by the power of google before, I am amazed now. The other day, Mum and I noticed that a beautiful big Monarch butterfly had been sitting on the lawn for two days. When we examined her more closely, she had a broken wing (I think it was a female because it was so big). We sat there and debated what to do. She couldn’t fly, but somehow it just seemed sad to leave her. She was so lovely.

Whilst Mum was watering the garden, the butterfly was slowly walking across the grass beside her. Obviously a little unsure of how she was going to get out of her dire situation.

We debated whether we could nurse her back to health – I decided to google it. Sure enough there was a video with instructions, explaining how to fix the broken wing of a Monarch butterfly!

So the surgical team set to it. Mum held her down carefully on a towel, I applied some glue to the break and then cut a tiny piece of thin cardboard and added a little glue to that too. I lined up the break and applied the piece of cardboard, being careful not to glue her wing to the towel. Once this was done, I sprinkled some talc powder on the area so that it would attach to any remaining glue and her wings wouldn’t stick together.

I picked her up in my hand and she started to beat her wings slowly – feeling it out. I cupped my hands around her and walked to the door. As soon as I opened my palms she flew straight out and over to one of the bushes on the far side of the garden (see photo).

Mum and I looked at each other.

“I can’t believe that actually worked!”

Isn’t it funny how experiences come into your life at the right time to give you meaningful little lessons…

So what lesson did I learn from my beautiful broken butterfly?

I haven’t always been very good at asking for help – reaching out to people in tough times. Or even just asking someone to help me shift heavy furniture in the house. I would never ask for a favour when I have nothing to give in return. It is vulnerable to need others. Instead, I’ve prided myself on being so self-sufficient. Always worried about putting people out or hearing the odd “no”.

But, sometimes in life things happen that are out of our control. And we’re a little screwed. We need help – otherwise we are just going to sit stagnant on the grass until someone steps on us. No man is an island and it is ok to get our needs met by another person – they may even want to help because they think we are just so lovely.

Every now and again we might just have to let someone come along with a little loving kindness and mend our broken wing. But the flying part – that is up to us.

What else did I learn?

I should really get a job before word spreads and the rest of the butterflies start coming around here for free healthcare….

Much love XX

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Hi, Iā€™m Katie. I am a kiwi neuroscientist with a love for consuming and creating content. This site is where I share my personal thoughts and the thoughts of incredible minds from around the world. PhD in Neuroscience, University of Otago.

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