Butterfly thoughts

A thousand colourful thoughts were locked in a jar that stood on a shelf in a small town grocery store. Safe from rain and sun and harm (and sticky fingers), the jar lived a good life, however, the thoughts were longing to share themselves with people, to spread love and affection, to sprinkle everyone with their positivity.

One day, a man came by and saw the tightly closed lid. He took it as a challenge to unscrew the jar. He moaned and groaned and grunted, sweat was dripping down his shirt; he bent in two and slapped the bottom, but the lid didn’t budge. Only the thoughts rearranged in its confines; they had to find a new place. Frustrated, the man put the glass back to where he had found it – almost. He put it in the sun, where the heat was burning, and the thoughts were sweating until they were drained of their colour. They lost their vibrancy, and so, the paler they got, the less attention their beauty attracted.

But a boy saw the jar. He took it as a challenge to open the lid. Encouraged by his friends, he took the glass in both hands; he moaned and groaned and grunted, sweat was dripping down his shirt; he bent in two and slapped the bottom, but the lid didn’t budge. The thoughts were shaken and confused. The boy was embarrassed in front of his friends and put the jar back where he had found it – almost. He put it in the middle of a shelf, where nothing was around, but dust. And there, the thoughts and the jar were left to be forgotten. Tangled into one another, they soon forgot how it had felt to be colourful and loved. They became silent and disappointed with the shallow human world. At least, the jar faced a window. The moon was rising. Soon, it would be shining brightly, if big rainy clouds didn’t hide it.

Night had fallen, and silence still reigned, and again, a man came by. He looked at the jar on the empty shelf, turned it this way and that, and decided to open its lid to set the thoughts free. They looked miserable, being locked away in the glass. He groaned and moaned and grunted, and sweat was dripping down his shirt, but the lid didn’t budge. He grew frustrated and wanted to slam the jar to the ground to open it, but something held him back. He took a deep breath, took the lid in his hand again, and this time, it gave way. The lid came off with a plopp. The thoughts became colourful once more, and like little butterflies, they made their way into freedom. Circling the man, they showered him in positive emotions. He was mesmerized and couldn’t look away. The thoughts danced around him and kissed his body until he felt light as a feather. They enlightened the dim room like the stars illuminate the night’s sky. A gush of wind opened the window, and the thoughts vanished into the dark, never to be seen again.

The man, however, was stunned about what he had just witnessed. He felt humbled by the beauty, and was sad that he only had his memories to remember the vivid colours and the kind thoughts that had touched him. He burst out into laughter. At first, it was a shy, almost inaudible chuckle, but then it became a free and loud sound that bubbled up from his stomach. A solitary tear of joy hid in the man’s beard.

He had needed this little win and this small touch of magic. The day had been dull, and his life seemed bleak all the time. Routines and schedules dictated his life; there was no joy, no love, nothing worth laughing about. He had lost the ability to see the light and the colours surrounding him. This night had changed that. The night had changed him.

And he walked home to his wife, kissed her on the lips, and was happy to be home. How he had missed this feeling of feeling loved, of being safe. Where had it been all this time? He now saw it shining in his wife’s eyes. It had always been there, but in his tiredness, he had just forgotten to open his eyes to see.

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