Sunday Transformation

Sunday Transformation Moarch Butterfly

Lookie who decided to join us.

I was writing in the back room while the baby napped and heard a scratching sound over my shoulder. Thinking it was one of the cats up to no good, I went out into the kitchen only to find no sign of shenanigans. I sat back down and started clacking away at the keyboard and the quiet scratching came again. I stopped and listened. Out of the corner of my eye I saw it. Our pet pupa was a pupa no more. A crinkly, orange leaf of a butterfly emerging from it’s pale green sarcophagus. I watched in wonder.

If you’ve never seen a butterfly emerge from it’s chrysalis, the process takes a little while. Their wings need to dry and that can take hours. Our butterfly took her time. By the end of the day she slowly stretched her wings, but no flight attempt was made. It was starting to get dark, so I thought it would be best to release her in the morning and so the entire night she sat on the window sill. In the morning, she still showed no signs of attempting flight. To gently inspire her, I took her with me on our walk to school. She sat happily perched to the top of the stroller as we walked down the ally. The kids left her on a flower, but when I was walking back home from dropping the oldest off at school, there she sat on the same flower. I scooped her up and walked with her for awhile and had a talk:

“You’re a monarch butterfly, capable of a spectacular migration over an entire continent. Flying might seem scary, that journey might seem incomprehensible, but just think about all the places you’ll see! All the friends you’ll meet! There will be birds and thunderstorms and days that make you wanna give up on the whole adventure, but you seem like a willing-and-able-sort-of-butterfly not a quit-before-you-even-try-butterfly. Why not give it a shot? You can make it. What have you got to lose?”


I set her back on the stroller and within a few steps she lifted off and flew to one of the wild sunflowers that hover over the alleyway.

Bye bye, butterfly.

I’m rereading poems by my favorite poet, William Stafford. This blog is named after the last line in one of his poems. Anyway, the introduction of The Darkness Around Us Is Deep recounts an interview between William Stafford and Cynthia Lofsness and how during the interview she inquires about his practice about writing a poem every day asking, “What do you do if you’re not so good that day?” and his response was “Well, then I just lower my standards.”(xii). How often do I let fear take ahold of me before even trying?  You see, I’m going though a transformation myself. My wings are new and I’m not quite sure where to go next. The definition of progress requires movement. Even if that movement is blind and the birds and the thunderstorms are at my heels, do I let that stop me? Do you?

So, the chat with the butterfly also happened to be a chat with myself.

If you are going through a similar transformation, have courage. Lower your standards. Don’t be afraid. Lift off.

Listening to Caroline Rose “I Will Not Be Afraid” (7:20 minute mark)

Stafford, W., & In Bly, R. (1993). The darkness around us is deep: Selected poems of William Stafford. New York: HarperPerennial.


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