Common Crow (Euploea core) pupa on underside o...

Common Crow (Euploea core) pupa on underside of Umbar leaf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was like a caterpillar, all fuzzy, slow, plodding and pudgy all over. This caterpillar knew there was  a purpose behind the thousands of seemingly pointless steps that it took in any given direction. Always walking, never completely understanding why.

Some of those steps were filled with courage as it made a bold step onto a busy highway, and defying death by either the hot, dry pavement or the wheels that sped along the way. Driven to hide, by its near death experiences, it bumped into a leafy tree. The caterpillar felt its way to a low-hanging green leaf where it began to hide, relief flooding the swollen, hairy body that carried too many tired legs. Wrapping itself in a chrysalis, made just for hiding, it fell asleep to the sound of wind rustling the leaves. Never wishing to escape the nest of its own making, the sleepy pupa rests until something changes.

Feeling a restless urge to flee the nest, which had felt so safe and warm, the caterpillar struggles to free itself. Twisting, turning, trying not to panic it chips away at the chrysalis. Light breaks in and floods the caterpillar with hope. Struggling with intensity, it seems that time slows to a crawl. Maybe, the caterpillar with never be free from the suffocating confines of its home.

A breakthrough happens as suddenly as a breath, its body slowly sliding through the opening. At the edge of the chrysalis the butterfly shudders as it looks around for a foothold. As it steps it realizes that it’s not the same as it was, before entering its temporary reprieve from the world. On it’s back beautiful wings flutter and spread and a breeze takes it off the edge of the homemade dwelling.

Soaring, heady with delight, it reaches for the sky and the wings grasp at the updraft.

No, it’s not the same as it was. All along, it’s purpose was clear. It’s relentless walk became a fantastic flight of beauty.

I am that butterfly, edging out of its dark place into the glorious light. My purpose made clear. To fly.


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