Dancing Butterflies, Ghost Orchids, Wild Skies: The Florida Dimension

Photograph © 2019 Peggy Kornegger
“To live here is to know God, to live here is to understand the power of Nature, to live here is to celebrate life.”—Panache Desai

Like a quartz crystal sparkling in the sun, Florida has many facets. Last year, in late June 2018, my partner Anne and I moved here from Boston. As we drove south along the eastern seaboard, we felt ourselves dropping past identities and memories along the way. By the time we reached Florida, we were living lighter, not anticipating or looking back, but just being, living fully in the present moment. It was a heightened state of awareness, and it carried us seamlessly to the edge of new beginnings and unexpected experiences in an entirely different place.

Driving across the state line, we had the strong feeling we were crossing into another dimension. A sense of elevated energy that manifested visually: a radiant translucence lit up the sky and the huge white cumulus clouds. The trees, bushes, and flowers were especially vivid in color. The very air vibrated with life force energy. These perceptions continued and actually expanded as Anne and I explored our new home, where everything seemed so unfamiliar.

Corkscrew Swamp, an Audubon sanctuary, is a natural entry point to an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Surrounded by slash pines, lettuce lakes (named for the plants on the water’s surface), and towering bald cypress trees hundreds of years old, I often feel as if I’m walking in a mystical timeless dimension. Alligators, whose ancestors survived the dinosaur era, rest like logs not far from the boardwalk, their eyes barely visible above the water. Ethereal, extremely rare ghost orchids hang suspended from a cypress trunk 60 feet above my head. A white ibis with its long curved bill lands nearby, and I am reminded of ancient Egypt and the god Thoth. When a large yellow-crowned night heron flies past me, I stand motionless, silent, transported. They are like living prayers, these unusual water birds, who by their very presence evoke spiritual connection.

Then there are the butterflies! Like flying rainbows, they never seem to land or rest here in Florida. They are always dancing with the light, dancing with the flowers, dancing with each other. The zebra longwing is a flying perceptual illusion. Its black-and-white stripes flash so quickly that the eye can’t keep up with the flickering patterns, and the mind begins to shift interdimensionally. The orange-and-black wings of the gulf fritillary and queen butterflies flutter continuously, and they seem to magically appear and then disappear into thin air. Bright yellow sulfur butterflies twirl and spin around each other like free-spirited improv artists. Florida’s beautiful butterflies make us believe that we too can dance and express our unique selves just as joyfully and spontaneously in our lives.

If I look up at the sky at any given moment during the day, I audibly gasp at the magnificence of the cloud formations and the play of light. It is a continuously changing, thoroughly engaging drama, based on daily weather patterns. During the summer months, the clouds build in size in the morning, and gradually, darker clouds move in from the Everglades. Eventually, torrential rain, thunder, and lightning take center stage in the afternoon. It is often impossible to do anything but stand and watch the show (in a safe dry place) because of the power of the storms. The lightning is incredible—it fills the sky with constant flashing and jagged electric bolts, both vertical and horizontal. In hurricane season, the weather and skies can become even more wild and unpredictable. Powerful energy vortexes swirl and swell, beyond all human control. This too can seem other-dimensional, like life on another planet.

There is untamed potential in the air here in Florida, something indescribable and other-worldly, in spite of aspects that seem old paradigm. Maybe it’s some residue of ancient Atlantean energy, just beneath the surface, which has been waiting for this time of collective awakening in order to reemerge. Atlantis, with its crystal pyramids and Law of One, is believed by some (including Edgar Cayce) to have existed in this part of the world, and there are times when I can feel its presence and see the pyramids sparkling in my mind’s eye. Is the “other dimension” I am experiencing here really the rise of Atlantis once more? It remains a mystery.

Whether or not it is connected to a specific name out of prehistory, a powerful energy of light and oneness does exist now on the planet. I feel it strongly in Florida but have felt it elsewhere too. It transcends place and time. In remembering it, in opening our psyches and our hearts to loving possibilities, we can embody that presence more profoundly than ever before, wherever we live. If we look closely, a true dimensional shift at the deepest level is taking place. We are becoming dancing spirit rainbows, each and every one of us, freely expressing and celebrating life on this Earth.

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