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My Planet: Goleta Butterfly Grove, California

I remember so distinctly those first quiet January mornings, walking among the eucalyptus through the butterfly grove towards the cliff that led to the Pacific, dog padding softly up the path ahead of me, disturbing nothing, enjoying her first times off the leash as we both transformed that year. 2005. Hard to believe it's been nineteen years since that particular metamorphosis, but I remember the abundance of monarchs as if it were yesterday, the wonder that filled my soul at such a treasure, and the way I exhaled.

They echoed the freedom I felt after those years where I had put my own needs aside to look after someone who never was going to lift a finger to do the same. These thousands upon thousands of monarch butterflies made Santa Barbara County home for a short time, as I did, and then were on their way to their next chapter. It was moments like this that gave me the greatest hope in the face of such trepidation. I had made it out alive...and they were there to greet me.

“Some things, when they change, never do return to the way they once were. Butterflies for instance, and women who've been in love with the wrong man too often.” ~ Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic


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