Changing, rearranging, adapting, growing...metamorphosis. Sometimes it seems perfectly painless and beautiful, like watching an ugly caterpillar (I think they’re all pretty) spin a cocoon and lie dormant until such time as it emerges-transformed-into a glorious spotted butterfly.
Then there are those changes thrust upon us, life altering events that shatter our ideas about what is normal and perfect, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly. Injury, illness, loss and suffering can leave scars that may be nearly imperceptible to those around us but that loom in our own view as insurmountably ugly.
I feel most things come into my life for a reason and try my best to understand these events, images and occurrences with an open mind. I feel the same uncertainty, sorrow and frustration as anyone else; but at some point, knowing that the universe is an intricate tapestry of Existence that is interdependent upon every thread that was woven into it from the beginning, I seek reason within the madness.
This virus has taken a toll on our world, the country I thought I knew as my own, and has nearly broken my Spirit that longs for freedom. I’m not talking about freedom from PPE or to carry a gun or walk about with disregard for whomever I may be harming or who may be harming me. I am talking about freedom from the fear that is an insidious virus within our psyche, more deadly than anything Nature can thrust upon us. Fear drives every negative emotion we experience and it feeds off of those emotions. I’ve been struggling with fear of late and had a meltdown or two in recent days until I decided that I still am truly free. I am not bound to any job, profession, house, city or country. Nothing is tying my hands or gagging my mouth (yet); and stepping just outside my back door, I was presented with a gift of thought.
In recent years of doing insect and macro photography, I have come across these most lovely creatures that seemed neither butterfly nor moth completely. In fact, they seemed more like a wasp to me. Delicate and docile like the butterfly or moth, they have beautiful colors and fluttering wings. Their body shape, however, is more akin to a wasp or bee.
In deciding to post photos and write about them, I thought to do a bit of research, and what I found was scientifically astounding. I mean, we all know how miraculous Nature is, even though many disregard the fact that most medicines and many medicinal processes are derived from natural sources. What I read is that these delicate beauties are the result of a homicidal attempt by aggressive wasps to inject their viral eggs into a butterfly or moth caterpillar that, once the eggs hatch into larvae, become the host to the wasp’s growing offspring. What is astounding is the way the butterflies and moths found a way to absorb the DNA into their systems and morph into something completely new and magnificent.
For more details about this process you can read Here or look up “Butterfly wasp or WaspMoth”. There are quite a few good articles written in Science journals. For me, it was a quiet affirmation of what I have seen as the ‘up’ side to this pandemic. If we can bridle our fears, be wise and patient, perhaps we can learn to suppress its rage and come out on the other side, having changed just enough to be stronger, more resilient and beautiful. I have seen good things. People paying attention to one another again, children getting attention from otherwise distracted parents, parents seeing the authentic nature of their own children and learning how to influence them without schools or friends. Restaurants now forced to follow cleaning rituals which used to be adhered to as a norm but have fallen by the wayside of indifference and greed. People cooking food at home, together as a family, and having fun playing games and being ‘bored’-together.
I have to, by my own nature, seek the beauty in all things in order to survive. We, as a human race, must learn to see the ugly truth and acknowledge our part in it if we are to emerge from our cocoon of isolation transformed and ready to change the world we live in for the better.
Survival is about adaptability, not stagnancy.
Change is inevitable. It is how we react to it that defines our fortitude. Happy holiday folks. For me, it means three days without a mask or gloves just to sit face to face with a person. We need to be thankful that, with this pandemic, our enemy is not outside in the air we breathe or the ground we walk on. I can still touch a flower or a tree and feel the wind on my face. Shhhh...can you hear the soft patter of rain against your window? It isn’t acid rain. Enjoy. Breathe. Accept. Appreciate. Love.