Tribute to a Butterfly
Today I’d like to chat about one of Anma’s (my late grandmother) favourite creatures, butterflies.
The caterpillar’s main objective is to eat, to stuff as much nutrients and weight into their squishy little bodies as possible. Us humans also require food to grow, however the food I would like to talk about today is food for thought. In our caterpillar stage the objective is to be nourished by meaning. We soak up love, stories, and lessons from our families, peers, and communities. Some of the richest meaning coming from our grandmothers. Much like the caterpillar, this sustenance prepares us for the rest of our lives.
With this meaning we build up an identity, preferences, and ways of being in the world. Just like the caterpillar building its cocoon. The chrysalis stage for us can sometimes be invisible, like a goldfish unable to see the glass bowl that contains them. The meaning we consume becomes who we are, what we believe about our environment, our people, and ourselves. At some point the chrysalis must crack open. This can feel good and bad, it can be healing or harming. As we continue through life we face challenges to our beliefs, our bodies, minds and spirits. These challenges can transform us, and we emerge from the chrysalis as butterflies with wings that carry us on our journey.
And such is the cycle of life, the butterflies create the next generation of caterpillars to be filled with meaning. Whether this is through having children, teaching, or acting as a guide for the young ones.
You may understand the comparison that I am making here, is the butterfly life cycle mirroring our own. Caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. Maiden, mother, and crone. But I think this cycle occurs many times throughout our lives. We make these little changes, and let parts of ourselves go in preparation for the final transformation.
Lois certainly faced a few changes and transformations on her long journey here. While she was adverse to some technological advancements, she met her challenges with resilience and was focused on her family and community. Anma I am so grateful for the meaning you have provided us. I know our other butterflies at Murrundindi are thrilled to be with you once again. Rest In Peace.