An optimist on wings

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“…as everyone knows, if the first butterfly you see is yellow the summer will be a happy one. If it is white then you will just have a quiet summer. Black and brown butterflies should never be talked about – they are much too sad.”

Tove Jansson, ‘Finn Family Moomintroll’.

It is the same every year, as soon as the sun warms the earth for the first time, I start looking for butterflies and even after all this time, I am hoping the first is golden. I don’t know why that passage left such an impression on me as a child, but no spring has passed without me thinking about it.

I have never been able to find out whether Tove Jansson based her premise on imagination or on local folklore. It doesn’t really matter. Whether it is truth, myth or fantasy, I choose to believe it. And, if…

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