The butterfly won’t move from my hand.
She’s supposed to fly away into the flower fields behind the stage, a symbol of release for the people who’ve gathered here to honor departed loved ones. Small paper envelopes are scattered about the empty benches, temporary cocoons for all the other butterflies now floating on invisible currents.
Two people in the back row are all that remain from the 500 who’ve just watched us play a few songs about loss and hope, including a For The Sender song called ‘Butterfly.’ They’re staring straight ahead, one arm around the other, quietly murmuring.
Maybe they’re talking of remember-whens, painting pictures of the past for each other.
Maybe they’re making dinner plans.
The ten-year anniversary of For The Sender is coming soon, and I’ve been wondering how to honor the last decade of books, songs, and concerts about letters… do I put the music and words together in an anthology? Create a new evolution? Or let this chapter slip into the ether, and move on?
A beautiful little girl with her hair pulled back shakes me from my daydream, showing me the screen-printed butterfly splashed across the front of her pink shirt. I smile and look over her to watch the couple rise and make their way to the exit, where the man picks up a For The Sender postcard, left there for anyone who might want to send me a few words.
He walks toward the parking lot and the rest of his life, his arm around the woman, as my friend nudges my shoulder and points to my empty hand.
Looks like she finally flew.