My friend pointed out the chrysalis on the concrete below my potted milkweed plants. I am not sure why it had fallen from where it was attached, and I thought that my watering habits may have been too much for it. It also seemed too small, but its size did not diminish its jewel-like presence, that sweet line of gold dots around the top, looking as if the purist, gold leaf was placed there so perfectly by a master artisan. Nature's jewelry.
I taped it to a branch on my hibiscus plant. A couple days later, it began to change color, getting darker. I could see through the once green, now glassy layer, showing the recognizable patterns of the monarch's wings. The following day, I walked out to discover the chrysalis was gone, only a fragment of the top was still attached, and below on the pavement was a deformed butterfly, its wings unable to open.
I picked it up and carefully put it on a branch. I hoped that the wings would adjust, but hours later, they still remained wrinkled, stunted. I cannot say why, but this moved me deeply. I felt emotional, sad. Why did this happen? I walked into the house, tears welling up, and began to laugh at myself.
It's a bug that gets you this way?
Before the sun went down, I saw her out my kitchen window, holding dearly to a leaf, wings moving slightly, but still unable to open. It crossed my mind that she may never fly, and that she will probably be on the ground the next morning. Part of me hoped that by some amazing act of science or the butterfly gods, moisture in the night air would allow her wings to finally unfold. But there she was, crippled on the ground. I once again placed her on a branch, but moments later, it was clear she could not hold on.
The metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly always seems a miracle to me. To most of us, I think. It symbolizes the beautiful outcome from that mysterious part of change. The revealing of something completely made anew. Often, we don't understand how that works, or why, and the more we try to control it, the more it becomes clear that it is out of our control. Perhaps this is where the real beauty lies, as we are reminded to become more flexible and to “allow” the energy to flow. To let go; to surrender.
Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world. ~ Marianne Williamson
Somehow, things will work out the way they are supposed to. We can plan our lives, make goals and take steps toward them, but keep close to our hearts that our metamorphosis may take a very different path. I believe this is what it means to have faith. To see beyond the struggles, the past and the future, and to fully understand that the only precious moment we really ever have is now.
Nature is the perfect teacher.