There’s a girl sat alone as the butterfly flies in. She’s always there, working alone and in silence; steadily—as though she has all the time in the world and is determined not to waste a moment of it. And she sits there, with her black embossed notebook—solemn, but possessing a rare serenity about her—she sits there and she writes. Poems on love; stories about death; complex essays on the dangers of a collapsing eco-system—no-one knows what she writes, and in all probability, no-one ever will. There’s a reason for this: when each page is covered by her minute, elegant script, she tears it out and folds it up carefully to create a perfectly formed origami butterfly.

***

Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It’s part of Chaos Theory, and states that ‘something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world’ It means that every action that we take, every decision that we make, may cause something big, something beyond our comprehension. It means that whatever we choose to do, it will have consequences far beyond anything we can hope to understand. It means that we have the power to change the world.

***

We have the power to change the world. The words are sweet as she savours them before committing them to paper; smooth as silk across the crowded landscape of her mind. There have been hundreds of butterflies over the years. One butterfly a lesson…five lessons a fortnight…twenty fortnights of school a year…one times five times twenty means one hundred butterflies every year. One hundred butterflies means one hundred dreams to be released by gentle hands for the wind to take. Every butterfly means something, but they are all about one key thing. Wanting to make a difference.

***

One day… One day I want to be a doctor. I want to save lives where they can be saved, and I want to be there to offer sympathy when they can’t be. One day I want to be the one people turn to for help, rather than being the one they run away from.

One day I want to write…to live and breathe literature. One day I want to be able to see my work in bookshops. One day I want to be a role-model—someone for people to look up to. One day I want to be able to look back and feel proud of the girl I used to be.

Maybe this will happen. Maybe it won’t. I have no way of knowing.

***

But there’s one thing she does know. One day—whenever that may be—her butterflies will grow their own wings, and take off without her having to give them a start. She’ll grow her own wings and chase her dreams and maybe even cause a typhoon along the way. Her wings might not be big, or blue, or beautiful, but they will be special because of what they represent—part of a long chain of events that is no-where near over.

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