Long ago, my then young children were fascinated by the experience of watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly. We bought the kit and watched the beauty of creation unfold.
Initiatially, the “tent” holding the caterpillar hung in the corner of our kitchen. As we followed the instructions for nurturing this transition, time seemed to go slowly. Metamorphosis takes time. It isn’t always pretty either. A cocoon is a browish, rough textured, ovalish shaped fixture that just hangs. Still.
Sometimes, it seemed that nothing new was in the works.
My children watched it every day. Waiting. And Waiting.
But one day, changes appeared. Colorful wings broke through the plain tan sack. A completely different creature appeared to be emerging out of the cocoon. Excitement built even though we couldn’t quite see the full image of what was in the works.
Eventually, we looked in the sack and a butterfly emerged. We saw just a scant bit of the caterpillar in it’s new form. Miraculous.
And the day approached when it was time to release it to the Universe. Because remaining in its protective temporary home hinders the butterfly’s life and its ability to impact the world.
We recognized that we have no idea where it will go or what’s in store in the future. We only hoped for the best.
So, we released it with bittersweet feelings.
And I hope that this memory will always remind my big kids and me that this is a metaphor for their own lives. Metamorphosis is at work. Over and Over. Change is bittersweet. It means leaving behind old purposes and embracing new ones. Leaving behind comfortable territory for a new one. But our new purposes await. And our impact will make a mark. Regardless of how visible it is.