“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively.
“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
Are you a butterfly or a caterpillar? I guess most of us would like to think we are butterflies. Butterflies are beautiful, graceful, and colorful. They flit about as if they had not a care in the world.
Caterpillars, on the other hand, aren’t that attractive. They move slowly, doing their work. Because of the nature of caterpillars you can actually watch them up close. I did, when I was a little girl.
I’m sure my mother must have gotten tired of me bringing caterpillars in the house to study. She let me place them in a cigar box or jar so I could watch the whole metamorphosis. I had to provide a stick, leaves, and water for the caterpillar.
Each day I checked the caterpillar’s progress. I was always astonished when the caterpillar descended into a cocoon form. That was the hardest part for me. Waiting.
I wondered what was happening in that cocoon. I knew the caterpillar was at rest in a place of quiet solitude. At least as quiet as a little girl’s bedroom could be. I knew that God’s hand was involved also. The caterpillar did what he was supposed to. God followed through and a beautiful butterfly eventually appeared.
As an adult, I now see how very important quiet solitude can be for creativity. Creative people can use the caterpillar as an example. Like the caterpillar, we need to do the job at hand. Grow. Physically take care of our needs. Find a moment or two for quiet time. Meditate. Rest. Be willing to give up what we are to become a new creative creature. Have faith.
The caterpillar knows what has to be done. He knows he will transform and become a beautiful butterfly. He has no doubts. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Likewise, our transformation will not happen overnight.
I feel that most artists go through this transformation process many times in their lives, transforming and redefining who they are. Creativity outlets change as well as interests and passions. Some artist fight the change, some go with the flow.
Today take some time to think about where you are in your creative life.
Thank you for all the lessons we can learn from nature.Thank you for butterflies and caterpillars. Thank you for all of our senses. Thank you for Your presence in our daily life. I ask for blessings for all artists in transition. Help them as they transform in their creativity. Give them greater faith and happiness in the moment.
In Christ’s name. Amen.