Rose and Butterfly

screenshot anime Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun

But if you hesitate with your choices, another chance may not come again.” That is one interpretation of it, I guess. Or two.

Listening to a collection of popular songs in Norway from 1955, I heard one I remember from my childhood (some ten years later). It begins with a rose speaking to a butterfly: “Soon the summer is over” she says to him, “and my beauty will be scattered by the winds. Come stay with me, and you will find shelter for the autumn storms.” But the butterfly disregarded this, and fluttered by. Eventually, however, he regretted his decision and came back. Too late, too late! Now the rose was dead, and only thistles offered him rest. And that’s why, with the rise of the dawn, a butterfly was found among thistles.

As a kid, I remember mangling this song to make one about tractors. OK, I may have been a pretty big kid, I was always childish for my age. But I definitely knew that the song was allegorical. It was not really about roses and butterflies. My suspicion was that it was about men with fear of commitment, and the vengeance that the natural order would wreak upon them.  (The unnecessary use of gendered pronouns in the song certainly made it clear who was the rose and who was the butterfly.)

Listening to it again, I am not absolutely sure. It may be a more generic message to not let good things pass you by. But I still think my first impression was mostly right. Little did I know back then that I would listen to this for the first time in decades, alone in a family apartment, at a time when the summer of my life was ending.

Of course, back then, I did not expect to live this long, what with the illness that harried me since I was a toddler.

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