Archived Story

The “butterfly effect”

Published 8:33am Friday, February 14, 2014

Life should be lived without complaints, at least not daily mantras of never ending diatribes of what isn’t right.

I admit, I have voiced dissatisfaction with the winter of frigidness that is never ending. However, if I stop and really look, there have also been moments of breathtaking beauty where nature is cloaked in frocks of snow with luminous crystals of frost creating glimpses of heaven. It is in the moments of appreciation, that I have the opportunity to reflect on things of happiness.

Winter is known for its lack of color, endless vistas of white, gray and beige. It reminds me somewhat of the downtown landscape of our village a couple of years ago. As I gazed out my window and saw so much beige, yes, there were patches of blue and cream, but for the most part, beige, I longed for something bright. Sometimes, you have to start small to make a difference. The benches and trash receptacles seemed like an easy way to bring in some color.

When I talked to my friend, Peg Stone, regarding having the benches painted, maybe by artists, she did one better, she suggested our youth paint them. She also picked out fabulous summer colors which she paid for herself and we got the benches’ and receptacles’ base coats on. Time ran out for the high school art class to do anything until this past fall though. Seasons pass and this allows for greater creativity sometimes.

Shelly Johnson, the art instructor at Ross Beatty Jr./Sr. High School, allowed the students to choose the theme and come up with their own designs. It became the painting class’ fall semester project. They have excelled beyond what I could have imagined.

Butterflies! Butterflies whose wings depict our areas lakes, seasons and loveliness.

Not only will the benches bring beauty, they bring transformation. It is the glowing metamorphic change the Village of Cassopolis is undergoing now.

I recalled reading of the “butterfly effect,” a theory of general physics whereby the phenomenon of a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, for example, a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might change the weather in Chicago.

With spring only weeks away, I can gaze at the nondescript landscape and smile knowing that the butterflies are on their way — positive change has arrived.


CeeCee Wilson is the organizer of Cass Can, Inc. and owner of Last Tagine in Paris, LLC. Find them on Facebook.


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