“Death is not an ending. It is a transformation. What dies is only our sense of identiy, which was false to begin with.” – Deng Ming-Dao


The cocoon seemed so exposed. The ants had already destroyed one that precariously hung off the patch of milkweeds. One butterfly, found dead, was not fully formed or perhaps, eaten by birds. We decided to take the remaining cocoon on the porch. I carefully cut the stalk of the milkweed stem and placed it in a vase with other flowers. I tied the milkweed leaf on the stem on day 3 after I noticed falling dead leaves, afraid the leaf holding the cocoon would be next; a delicate operation, but success! On day 10 or so at 2 AM, I noticed the cocoon changing color (as it had over it’s metamorphosis) but darker now. My butterfly was emerging. I stayed up as long as I could to witness another miracle. This was not my first birthing of butterflies. The next morning, my little buddy was next to her cocoon. My husband had placed her and the vase outside but I wasn’t ready to let go. I easily convinced myself: it wasn’t ready, it’s gonna rain really hard, the birds will eat her before she has a chance to fly away. I brought her back onto the porch. It rained really hard! She could not yet fly, as monarchs spend hours drying their wings. My husband said “how could this be? how could they ever survive? can nature be that cruel?” (we know that answer, don’t we?) My sweet butterfly lived on the porch for a day and half. This morning, i saw her on the screeen. I offerd her my finger. She climbed onto it. I opened the porch door, and walked with her to the milkweeds down the path. I placed her on the orange flower. She quickly flew off! I watched her circle the swath of flowers, up into our oak tree, then over our fence, away from view. I felt happy. I smiled. My little girl was grown and free. It’s the afternoon now and it’s raining really hard. I am trying not to focus on “oh no, what if she’s too wet?” and think instead: she’s safe under a bush. Life is impermanent. Holding on to anything is futile. I will find freedom with this knowledge.

[ Blog # 12 #SocialMediaSummerSabbatical #AntiSocialSocialMediaExperiment ]