As I run in the rear of our running pack, I look forwards, between the shoulders of my sisters, to where the track is leading us. And all at once I see something unusual. A cloud of monarch butterflies hangs in the air, right in the centre of the track.
A few more paces is enough to bring us into the middle of this cloud. There are butterflies everywhere. They brush past my face, and dance between my flashing feet. They fly next to me, as if they too are out for a little exercise. Maybe they are out to stretch their wings. For a little way they keep pace with our group as we head through the bush, before finally falling behind.
The next day and the next, they are there, flying along the bush track like they've been waiting for us. Not always so many. Not always in the same place. But there are always some butterflies waiting there to greet us as we run. I look forward to seeing their small shapes flitting across the track as I pound towards them.
They won't always be there I know. When the weather turns cold, the butterflies will all disappear. Winter is too harsh for them. But I know that, come spring again, they'll be back, and this time, we'll be there to welcome them.