i take a walk on a wet night. tiny water droplets mist down; trees harbor moisture that rain on me when i shake a branch over myself.
i walk down quiet residential streets. i hear tv sets in some houses; otherwise, all is quiet.
as i pass under a tree, i see a leaf fluttering down, lit by a street lamp. only--the leaf's motion reminds me of a butterfly...i look again. its fall stops as it lands on a branch...then it falls to another branch...hesitates, falls again...to the street at my feet.
it is a large moth. its wings are laden with moisture...it weakly flails about on the asphalt, trying in vain to get some lift. i watch it...it is beautiful, in a way...large as a butterfly, and yet i am vaguely creeped out by its furry abdomen. i guess that is what makes butterflies lovely and moths...noctural and eerie? you'd welcome a butterfly that landed on your finger...but as this moth flapped its wings and moved toward me, i stepped back quickly.
a car turned onto the street and headed straight for the poor creature. i motioned the car to stop and attempted to herd the moth to the side of the road with a branch. it didn't really work, so i stepped back, and the impatient driver drove by, leaving the moth untouched. finally i got it to the side of the road, up the curb...and suddenly its wings were lighter, the droplets shaken off, and it danced into the air, higher and higher...back toward the streetlamp...where perhaps the story began.