Friday, 22 January 2016

Butterfly kisses and sacrifice

No, I have not abandoned my blog! I had no internet connection at home for a few weeks ( insert jaw drop here...) and I lived to tell the story! I certainly missed not sharing and I did feel guilty, especially on my posting days - Wednesdays and Fridays, but I do believe I am back in business.

Over my hiatus, I observed many things, I had many ideas for articles but in the hustle and bustle that is life, I managed to write down none and remember only a few. This one thing stuck.

All our caterpillar moments lead to wings

When I was a little girl, I loved butterflies. I would come out into the garden with my little plaits, wait on them to perch ever so gracefully on a flower and put their wings together as they became lost in nectar heaven; then I would strike! That's when I would  lift them up and put them in my jar and close the lid. I would rub my index finger in a circle on my thumb, feeling the fuzz that made the beautiful pattern that drew me in, then I sat.  I watched. I watched the thing of beauty die. At my hands. 

I remembered my mummy told me to pierce holes in the top of the lid, so the poor things could breathe, I thought, oh yes!...that's my flaw in design. I pierced holes. I caught butterflies ever so skillfully. Butterflies still died. I'm not sure if it was the trauma of all that butterfly death, but I soon lost interest in catching butterflies.

I had a conversation with a gentleman once about caterpillars and a book I've been trying to read for about 2 years now - If Caterpillars can Fly So Can I by Alvin Day. We didn't talk much about the book - he just said - Caterpillars can't fly! I disagreed. Caterpillars were born to fly, they were made to fly, operating on the single premise that, the caterpillar will eventually become a butterfly- who was born to fly...

"It doesn't matter what you see now, can you see His glory?" ( I Know Who I am by Sinach) 

The gentleman, well, he didn't get it, he was being literal, and caterpillars only crawl and eat leaves- and they, well, they have no visible wings.

Just last week, I went to pick my daughter up at school and she said all excitedly,
" Mummy! The caterpillars are back!" " So many of them, and the children are killing them and squashing them."

 Those caterpillars won't fly. It took me back to my butterfly catching days. They, because of me- wouldn't fly either.

 Then she showed me, probably what were hundreds of caterpillars under a long stretch of wall at school. Caterpillars all huddled together, all in varying stages of metamorphosis. It gave me pause, I had never seen that before, I was more impressed with butterfly wings. Then I went to pick up my other daughter, and their seating area had all but been abandoned because the caterpillars had taken over their Lignum Vitae tree, Jamaica's National flower.

 It was time for pale yellow butterflies to spread their wings.

A few times a year in Jamaica, there are a few days filled with tiny pale yellow butterflies, (Krigonia lyside) happily flying around, and before you know it; they all but disappear. It happens, this year I saw, just because my eyes were open.

As I looked at the chrysalis at my daughter's school, I had a thought, these butterflies, these specific tiny ones go through four different stages, just to live for a few days, some, mere hours, others- almost seems- counter-productive. But is it? 

Can caterpillars really fly? - Technically- No
Do caterpillars have wings? - Scientifically- No

But.....something happens inside that chrysalis, something happens when that caterpillar hangs upside down on it's head. It makes wings. Wings that were 'never' there before and as I watched a time elapse video of a caterpillar's metamorphosis, my daughter started watching too, she said..
"I don't see any changes though."
 But I did, they were subtle, almost invisible. Towards the end,when the chrysalis changed shape and got fatter, she then said, 
"Oh, I see the changes now."

Changes start ever so small, sometimes even when it is in us, we tend to overlook or disregard them, looking instead, at the bigger, more visible flaws.

.....All I require for life, God has given me, and I know who I am ( I Know Who I am- Sinach)

2 Peter 1:3 "According as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue." 

ALL I require for life...............LIFE.............I have been given. It means that I can make this life make sense. It means I can make the mundane tasks, the fiery darts, the jars that prevent wings from spreading metamorphis into a beautiful work of art that only a master potter could envision. You see, the truth is, His creation, it speaks to us. The caterpillar hangs upside down to change into it's finest hour; but, when things are toppled upside down, we panic, we grow weary, we get frantic,we curse at the master potter. For we can not see. We can not see the beauty in the caterpillar moments. That ugly, creepy crawly, leaf eating, plant destroying, garden wrecking, school bench taking-over caterpillar, is the same one that births those beautiful butterflies that we chase after as little children, and put them in glass jars, just so we can have them, albeit selfishly for ourselves. They get all the glory, and if they came by my house when I was a child...unfortunately, they got some of the pain too. 

I say this to say...the process, is worth the journey. 

Hang upside down and embrace the change, because your wings are in those upside down, topsy turvy days. Those days that you cry, those days that only you can see your change, just keep hanging upside down. God's got you covered, in this stage and the next. My daughter, she told me so too. She sprightly said'
 " Mummy, you know when birds see those butterfly wings what they see?"
 " Dinner perhaps?"  I thought but never said;
Then she says, " They see something that tastes bad, the colours (yellow) on the butterflies tell birds that they taste bad, so they won't eat them, but it's not really true, they taste good."
"How do you know? Have you ever tasted butterfly wings?" - that, I said....
We both laughed...."Muuuuuummmyyyy....I could never taste that!"

And do you see our Bible in action? ALL, I require for life, God has given, even the butterflies, so why not I? Why on earth do we doubt him?

And on that matter of a butterfly's lifespan? That question I asked myself, is it all worth it?

If you have ever seen these little pale yellow butterflies in motion, you would know that it most definitely is. They do not move with butterfly grace, they do not have all the patterns and sequence of the ones we normally admire, but they have all they require for their short lives.

They huddle together in caterpillar families, they go through changes together, and when their crowning moment finally comes, they fly together so rapidly and succinctly that it makes a yellow wave of joy fill your heart, at the wonderment that it must be to fly, to spread your wings, to live your purpose, to do what you were born to do..even if it is for just a moment in time. 

Afterall, when we count up our years, isn't it all just a moment?

Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday, when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

What changes are you going through this new year? Will you embrace the change and see it as a means to your end?

Readings : 1 Peter and 2 Peter

                                                I know who I AM by Sinach


  1. Great post tanya and welcome back

    1. Thanks Kerona, it is good to be back and thanks for stopping by