Written by Miriam Fernandez
Art by Leah Kelley

All through summer, Lily searched for butterflies. She would ask her mother many times to show her old photographs she had taken back when she was young. Every time, Lily would wait patiently until her mother told the story of the butterfly she saw on a summer evening. 

“Tell it to me again,” Lily would ask, her brown curls brushed back into a braid. 

“You’ve heard it so many times. Are you sure you want to hear it again?” Her mother would respond. Lily knew the story by heart and yet, when her mother recounted it, Lily found herself dreaming of having the same experience. 

“Yes, please.” 

Her mother sighed, smiling. She returned her focus to the picture in her hand. She had taken it many years ago, an experience she never forgot. 

“My mother, your grandmother, always told me that butterflies gave hope. I was growing up and the future seemed so uncertain. That summer, I decided to spend every day as if I was traveling the world, seeing everything for the first time. And there was nothing more beautiful than the meadow that was filled with lots and lots of flowers. Flowers of different colors and dandelions that everyone would always blow on; the trees surrounded the meadow and if you woke up early, before anyone else, the sunrise would be lovely.”

Lily listened with excitement and joy, imagining everything her mother said.

“One day, late in the evening, I decided to walk in the meadow and take some pictures to remember those moments. I wanted to treasure everything around me; it was my home, the place I grew up and I never wanted to forget anything. I took a few pictures of the sky, some of the flowers nearby, and I was about to leave when…”

“You saw a butterfly!”

“Yes, I did. It was such a wonderful moment and I didn’t hesitate to take a picture before the butterfly flew away into the sky. I remember I stood there for a few minutes, closing my eyes. I never thought that I would find peace and calmness that day, but I did.

“And even if you haven’t seen one yet, Lily, the day you see one, you’ll remember this story. You’ll remember your dreams and everything you’ve ever hoped for. So when you see one, don’t forget to take a picture.”