There are some milkweed plants in our back yard. They are actually in our plantings amongst the flowers. They’re not supposed to be there. Most people would pull it out. I wanted it left in. I know milkweed is an important part of Monarch butterflies’ habitat. I counted 15 caterpillars the other day. They are all different sizes and stages. The one in the picture is about the size of my little finger. They will eat up all of the leaves and drop many droppings. They haven’t created their cocoons or chrysalis yet. They aren’t yet butterflies, but I know they will be.
Are you at a stage in your life where you feel like you’re upside down like this caterpillar? Or, would you rather stay in a cocoon and not break out into the world? Maybe you’re not sure you will ever be a butterfly? Sometimes we don’t know there was someone who created a sanctuary or a safe place for us… there was someone who didn’t pick the weed we are living on. The caterpillar might not yet realize they will be flying in a few weeks. Their world will expand outside this lonely plant. They will soar through the air.
This little caterpillar isn’t comparing itself to the larger one. It will grow in time, and will become the same size butterfly when it’s done. As I sit in my cluttered living room, surrounded by 4-h fair projects and Farmer’s market signs & materials, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s easy to compare my house to my friend’s homes (that look like they are from a magazine). I feel like I’ve gone through the caterpillar and butterfly stages more than once. I remember the cocoon days where it felt impossible to get out of bed. I’ve felt on top of the world, soaring above the trees…. and I’ve felt upside down on a stationary leaf.
Some days it might feel like you’re just barely holding on. Hold on anyway. Your butterfly days may be just around the corner. All of that “messy” may turn into something beautiful. Look around you at all of the miracles in nature. I encourage you to stop and say thank you. Thank you for our messes that turn us into butterflies. Thank you for our cocoons to protect us in the transition. Thank you for our friends to fly with us.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough.… whether you’re in the caterpillar or butterfly stage of your life, hold on. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. It’s uniquely your own, and completely beautiful. You are loved.