Music reaches out from the little car’s speakers and wrestles with her mood. Now drums – pumping her blood and thumping her foot. Now strings – loosing her shoulders and strumming her heart. She takes a deep breath and slows the car to the posted speed limit; she lets the sunshine fabric of the world outside saturate her soul. “This is working,” she thinks.
Winding around the river twists of the road, she hums the change of tune – even smiles, just a little. “This is working.” Ahead, a fairy-like minstrel of peace is singing the sunlight through its tiny, yellow wings. The butterfly – an electric symbol of her new attitude – darts, dances, bobs and bounces. It tickles the scene like a paintbrush of cheer as she rounds the corner going 40 miles per hour. Then someone pulls the plug.
The tiny harbinger dives suddenly – disappears in front of the car’s hood. She doesn’t react. Rabbits, foxes, deer, elk – these and more have trained her eye and steering against reacting in haste and dying on these Idaho roads. The rear-view mirror plays the visual requiem as she watches. The stringed instruments of her hope pluck the “money note” as the yellow dancer rises, high in the air. Half a second after, the contralto that lives inside her mind wails the Verismo, that tragic truth she knew, deep down, was coming. The butterfly falls, in a straight yellow line, to the road behind her. “You can’t change your mood today,” she tells the road ahead. One last glance, to be sure, and the Aria of her intellect begins. “You can only change your outside.”
Relaxing into her pissed off, grime of depression – she resolves to leave her anger in check with a simple strategy. She imagines scenarios at work: happy people, needy people, hurried and stressed people, all of them wanting more than a nod or smile as they approach. “Yellow Butterfly!” she imagines her self talk as she encodes this lesson into her brain. “Don’t kill it; don’t admire it; don’t think you can feed from its trough of positive energy.” She pulls into the parking lot, turning everything motor or electronic off except her intentions. She practices once more before walking inside.
“Yellow Butterfly – walk away!”