The Lifecycle of Butterflies

When I began to see monarchs fluttering by my rooftop in Morelia, capital of the state of Michoacán, I felt as if I were greeting old friends from home in this most improbable place. Like me, these monarchs were foreigners. None of them had ever been to Mexico, where their great-to-the-nth grandmothers had abandoned their spent grandfathers the previous spring. So far as these butterflies could possibly know, they were simply obeying an itch to fly a few thousand miles, as if by some collective whimsy.

RE-PUBLISHED ON VELA MAGAZINE. This essay was a finalist for the Annie Dillard Prize and won the Literary Nonfiction Prize from The Pinch, where it was published in print. It has been republished online by Vela.