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I have a bloggy friend who I have come to know over the past 3 years through her blogs posts, email & twitter. Her name is Michelle Kemper Brownlow. She is a funny, witty women who can always make me laugh. She also writes insightful reviews, mostly about books, which is fitting because she is an illustrator & author. Check out her blog My Semblance of Sanity and you’ll see what I mean. 🙂
Her new project is an ambitious & glorious undertaking. The project is called The Butterfly Girlz. The Butterfly Girlz is centered around empowering young girls in all ways of their life. It’s goal is boost self esteem, boosts self respect & show these girls the value of their lives & voices. The project stems from Michelle’s story The Legend of the Butterfly Girls. Out of this legend grew a group of 25+ girls who follow her lead in a closed facebook group and train with her as she writes this book. Their quotes and insight will be integral to making the book authentic. It’s not a 40 year old woman giving advice to teen girls, it is a compilation of truths the teens themselves have garnered as a result of their conversations, journalling and challenges.
Here is an excerpt from The Legend of the Butterfly Girls.
In a remote rainforest in the far corner of Costa Rica lived two sisters. Raine and Miranda were twins and upon their birth, each had been given a net filled with butterflies. As they grew up their parents showed them the proper care for butterflies and impressed upon them that the nurture of these beautiful creatures was crucial to their own futures. The understanding was when Raine and Miranda turned ten they would become responsible for their own butterfly net.
Raine was honored, “Thank you, Father. I will do my best to ensure their safety and I will keep them by my side at all times. I will never turn my back on them for other things not worthy of my attention.”
Miranda was less than amused, “They are bugs. They mean nothing. Why would we sacrifice our own time nurturing these things that have no value? There are more interesting things that hold my attention.”
Raine began by naming her butterflies. She held each one carefully, studied it, decided how much it meant to her and chose a name perfect for just that one. She did this methodically until each one was named. As the swarm inside her net grew she was sure to continue connecting with each and every one.
Miranda took another approach and hung the net out of her site in a far dusty corner of her room. One by one the butterflies wiggled out through the holes in the net and fluttered away.
Raine worked tirelessly nurturing her swarm. She turned her back on some things that once took up her time. However, Miranda could not understand this and teased her sister relentlessly at times.
The difference in swarms became evident as the girls walked to school each morning. The large group of butterflies in Raine’s net created a lift when she needed it. Raine effortlessly hopped over mud puddles to keep her white school dress pristine. She was able to hop out of the way of poisonous snakes that were a part of the path. The butterflies would lift her a bit further than her hop could on its own when she came to a nasty brier patch.
Miranda’s butterflies were so small in number her net barely floated. Miranda’s walk to school became anxiety-ridden as she looked for slithering threats, sloshed through the mud and was scratched deeply by thorns along the same path that her sister walked unscathed.
Raine offered to teach Miranda the things she knew about holding onto her butterflies. In the days following, Miranda’s swarm would grow some but still very small in comparison to her sister’s billowy net. But it was enough to get by and Miranda was content with the small lift so she could get to school with only a little mud and a few scratches. But, Miranda would soon get distracted with what she considered more attractive things. Her old ways were comfortable and familiar and the care for the butterflies was too much sacrifice. And without constant nurturing and care, Miranda’s butterflies, once again, would slip away.
One day as Raine floated to school she saw Miranda standing on the lip of a smoking volcano. She called to her but Miranda didn’t respond. As Raine got closer she could see the scars on Miranda’s legs from the gnarls of her walk to school. Miranda’s once white school dress was stained with mud. Miranda lifted her head to see her sister floating above her.
*Please note that under no circumstances can any of the content or images of The Butterfly Girlz nor The Legend of the Butterfly Girls be used with out expressed permission from the author.*This story is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced in any way without direct permission of the author*