Monarch Migration 2010

Amy and I were married on October 10, 2010. A month later a friend flew us out to California to spend a week in a beach house on Monterey Bay.

It was an amazing experience – literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. We spent long nights in each others arms with the blue Pacific ocean churning just steps away from our bed Crazy in love and everything was beautiful beautiful beautiful.

We saw a lot that week, but the highlight for me was driving up to Santa Cruz to see great swarms of monarch butterflies migrating. A sight I had dreamed of seeing ever since I first read of it when I was very young. I thought the pictures were lost, but I found a handful today.

I can remember this day like it was yesterday, and the pictures do not come close to capturing the majesty of eucalyptus trees covered with monarch butterflies. The path was crowded with people, but Amy and I stood under this wonder of nature silently holding hands. I took pictures, but eventually let my camera rest and just tried to take it all in with my eyes. My heart. My mind. She was so beautiful. A lenticular cloud hung over us in the sky like a disk of snow. The smell of the forest. The rustle of soft leaves on softer wings . . . it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

All through eternity
Beauty unveils His exquisite form
in the solitude of nothingness;
He holds a mirror to His Face
and beholds His own beauty.
he is the knower and the known,
the seer and the seen;
No eye but His own
has ever looked upon this Universe.

His every quality finds an expression:
Eternity becomes the verdant field of Time and Space;
Love, the life-giving garden of this world.
Every branch and leaf and fruit
Reveals an aspect of His perfection-
They cypress give hint of His majesty,
The rose gives tidings of His beauty.

Whenever Beauty looks,
Love is also there;
Whenever beauty shows a rosy cheek
Love lights Her fire from that flame.
When beauty dwells in the dark folds of night
Love comes and finds a heart
entangled in tresses.
Beauty and Love are as body and soul.
Beauty is the mine, Love is the diamond.

They have together
since the beginning of time-
Side by side, step by step.

~Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī