At some point early in this journey several people sent me the poem about a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. A compassionate onlooker sees the butterfly struggling to break free, and helps by breaking the cocoon open and releasing the butterfly. As a result of this kindness, the butterfly perishes. The struggle itself was an imperative part of the process, forcing fluid to move throughout the structures of the wings, preparing them for flight. The absence of the struggle left the butterfly unable to survive.
I have taken comfort in this analogy as I’ve watched Abbie battle against one layer of her cocoon after another. I’ve witnessed her spirit being strengthened to a degree I cannot fathom nor express. But, yet, in a corner of my Mother-Heart, I still yearn to help her, to ease the fight, to breach the cocoon for her.
My son, Kyle, is an avid photographer. This week he found a group of bushes at school that harbor dozens of cocoons. As he was snapping away, capturing collections of caterpillars, close-ups of Monarch wings, and the fragility of suspended cocoons, he witnessed a curious behavior.
As a newly emerged butterfly lay wet and vulnerable on the grass, another butterfly would arrive to lift it to a leaf, where it could dry, gain its strength and eventually flitter away to join the community. He captured the arrival of the rescue butterfly in the photo below:
I love knowing the “rest of the story”. It doesn’t end with a solitary emergence from the struggle. None of us learn to fly alone.