Wednesday, August 12, 2009

“How does one become a butterfly?" she asked...

I'm not sure why, perhaps it is because I've spent most of my life—either as a student or teacher—in school, but August has typically been a month I spend in the cocoon preparing to fly. At times I've been forced into the cocoon, like the year when my Aunt Mildred passed away. Life as I had known it had changed. At times I have voluntarily gathered my things—Bible, journal, pen—and entered the cocoon. Those were the moments when I was anticipating and craving transformation. Whether involuntarily or of my own volition, the cocoon has always been a good place for me.

cocoon |kəˈkoōn|nouna silky case spun by the larvae of many insects for protection as pupae.a similar structure made by other animals.a covering that prevents the corrosion of metal equipment.something that envelops or surrounds, esp. in a protective or comforting way : the cocoon of her kimono | figurative a warm cocoon of love. ORIGIN late 17th cent.: from French cocon, from medieval Provençalcoucoun ‘eggshell, cocoon,’ diminutive of coca ‘shell.’ The verb dates from the mid 19th cent.

You have read how Oxford defines the cocoon, but I know you are wondering what does the cocoon mean for/to me? The cocoon is the place where I am changed. It is a place of growth and increased strength. It is a place of darkness of loneliness and sometimes pain. It is the place where my colors and wings are developing. It is the place where I complain about not yet being a butterfly. It is the place where I muster up the courage to fly. It is a place where I struggle and grow tired. It is the place where I write without ceasing. It is the place where I pray without ceasing. It is the place where, for all of the reason I listed above and so many more, I commune with God most intimately. It is the place where, despite the difficult transformation taking place, I am safe and secure. I trust that when I break free from the cocoon I will be stronger, more beautiful, and ready to soar. I will be a butterfly.

So, today, as I prepare to enter my cocoon, I share with you some pearls of wisdom that I've gathered over the years about caterpillars, cocoons, and butterflies (which, by the way, is the title of the dope mix CD that my bestie gave me for my 32nd birthday. It still gets much play on my iPod.) Enjoy!

"Just when the caterpillar thought that life was over, it became a butterfly" (Anonymous)

"You are destined to fly, but that cocoon has got to go." (Nelle Morton)

"If you want a butterfly, you gotta be a butterfly." (India.Aire)

"If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies." (Anonymous)

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." (Maya Angelou)

"Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time." (Deborah Chaskin)

How does one become a butterfly?" she asked. "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” (Anonymous)

"When the time comes for the caterpillar to change into a butterfly it spins a cocoon around itself. Once the cocoon is finished the change starts to take place. Everything about the caterpillar becomes different. What will emerge later on after a great struggle is not a caterpillar with wings but a new creature! It is a butterfly!" (Anonymous)