today, while standing at my kitchen sink, my hands deep in suds and my gaze out the window…as i was rinsing out the last of the dishes, a subtle movement of something colourful interrupted my unfocused stare. upon bringing my attention to the matter, at first i thought it an old leaf, too soon turned with its orange hue and curled edges, caught perhaps in a spider’s abandoned web on the window’s screen.
i watched for a few moments as the bit of detritus shifted smoothly on the morning breeze. then i brought my field of vision into more acute focus as it dawned on my that this was not some dead leaf, fallen early from her moorings only to be caught up in another.
part of the slender presence seemed attached to something from which it was wrenching itself free. it took seconds for me to know what i was witnessing…a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis!
mesmerised, i watched as it shifted ever so slightly, moved by an unseen breath. almost one had to slow down time to discern its subtle movements. as soon as i could break free from the spell unto which i’d unknowingly succumbed, i called to my daughter to share the miracle with me.
she was not unimpressed. and as we stood there together, the natural teacher in me rose up and explained that the newly metamorphosed creature somehow knew just exactly how small a hole to make in the encasement so that in squeezing through it, the pressure of emerging would push ‘juices’ from its abdomen out into the veins of its wings, causing them to eventually unfurl…too big of a hole and the requisite pressure would not be great enough to enable the wings to flight…too small and the butterfly would be trapped inside. the notion of this exquisite perfection of innate knowlege overwhelms me.
but, even as most children below a certain age are not thrilled by sleight of hand magick tricks (why wouldn’t i be able to pull a coin out from behind his ear?) similarly my 11 year old daughter didn’t seem to grasp the perfection in what the butterfly had accomplished…the tiniest margin of error avoided without effort. in fact, no emerging butterfly ever makes the hole too big or too small!
i thought of how ziona was a butterfly, her former body so different from what her new one will be. just as the caterpillar must be sacrificed for the butterfly. now, on her puberty blockers, she is in a sort of chrysalis. waiting now, but someday in the near future she will change too. someday the butterfly will push through, unfurl its wings and bask for a moment in the early sun, before listing off on a breeze.
how magickal it is! how awesome to be part of this metamorphosis.