By Reem Ahmed
I visited yesterday the butterfly park in Dubai only seeking a mood shift, where I was surprised by a new profound lesson to learn from those fragile, yet attractive creatures. And just today I heard someone saying: “We can only learn something by teaching it”. In fact she is absolutely correct, because we can only learn about ourselves, or remember the information we got from any source by repeatedly sharing it! And I told myself I must share with you the lesson I learned yesterday, for me to keep remembering it, and for you to benefit from it.
There I was in the park, holding my camera at the reception room, feeling so excited to take new photos, implement the knowledge I gained in photography, test my current level and try new things. I felt amused by the artistic work in the photos of our great leaders in the UAE, which were all made of dried butterflies. And suddenly while walking and photographing, a piece of art stopped me. It was a nice shape, made of dried butterflies and exactly in the middle the following statement was written:
“Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well”.
When I read it I smiled for the wisdom this short statement was holding, and loved the way it was presented using butterflies.
I then kept moving between the rooms and taking photographs. At one room there were amazing blue color butterflies; which is my favorite. I thought to myself: “No way, I have to take photos for those outstanding species today”. The interesting thing is the wings of those butterflies were totally brown and dull from the outside, and when they open them a beautiful graded blue color shows up. I patiently waited and waited to take the shot I aimed for. I kept trying and following them as they fly without any luck. After sometime I felt tired of running after them and I stood at one spot. I saw one of them standing on a leaf and closing its wings. Very gently I knocked the edge of the leaf with the tip of my finger to move it and let the butterfly glide so that I can catch the nice color, it flied fast and stood on the floor on a shaded spot closing its wings again and not moving a single inch. I started talking to it and almost begged it to open its wings, without any results. I kept photographing it thinking it might suddenly decide to open its wings and I don’t want to miss the shot, but again no luck. I stayed at that spot for almost 30-40 minutes trying to take the shot I wanted.
When I felt tired and I was about to move, another butterfly from the same species landed exactly next to the first one, but on a sunny part of the floor and then started the show. As if she was coming purposely to tell me: “Come on here, take a photo for me, I am ready to shine”. I took a couple of shots for both of them together while their wings were still closed, after which the second butterfly decided to open its wings completely and stayed at that position while I was shooting and enjoying its beauty from different angles. I then decided to purposely combined them in a shot where the butterfly with closed wings was standing in the shadow and looking dark and dull, and the other one which was open to the experience, is standing on the shiny part of the floor opening its wings showing its gorgeous colors.
I then recalled the first statement I read at the reception and linked between it and what happened in front of my eyes from these two butterflies, when I came up with the lesson. When we as human decide to close our hearts and stay in the shadow, we hide our inner beauty and people can’t see it, and because we are living with this beauty every single day we become so use to it to the point we don’t value it and sometimes maybe ignore it. But when we open our hearts, our inner beauty shines; it attracts people who help us to see our own beauty through their eyes. Exactly like these two butterflies did. So the lesson I learned and decided to pass to you is: “Open your heart and don’t get scared, let your inner self shine, and watch your beauty through your mirrors (Other people’s eyes)”!