I was thinking about the life of a caterpillar.
The caterpillar, tirelessly crawling up branches to get to his food, is provided with a multitude of legs with which to cling, and cling he does! For falling is a real danger to his life. To fall means to start the long arduous climb again. To fall means becoming vulnerable to predators that swoop out of the skies to eat him.
I wonder, can a caterpillar even conceive of flying?
Can a caterpillar even begin to imagine his life as a butterfly?
Though he may not conceive of it, he is compelled to prepare for it. He clings to his fragile branches and gorges himself of delicate green leaves till he is plump and fully grown. Then, as his body becomes ready, he wraps himself in a funeral shroud.
I wonder, does he prepare for death?
Does our caterpillar even have the inkling of what he prepares himself for?
As he wraps himself in robes of silk does he accept the unknown? Does he fight an inner voice that prods him to cut himself loose and run free? As temperatures cool around him his robes become a shell. Inside his body goes through amazing transformations.
Does he contemplate these changes?
Does he sleep?
One day, when the conditions are just right, he awakens and bursts forth from his self-imposed prison. He emerges transformed! Is he surprised to be awoken? Does he struggle with his new body? When does he realize he can fly?
We are sometimes like this caterpillar.
Clinging to the branches that give us life. Clinging to the security of the old way of living. However, also like a caterpillar we are compelled to work towards preparing ourselves for a great transformation to come.
Will we welcome it when it comes?
Will we be surprised?
Can we even conceive of what we will be?
Without being able to ask the caterpillar what he is thinking, I can bet he would tell us one thing. That he did what, ‘felt right at the time’, and that he did it ‘because it WAS the right time’, and that he didn’t think much more about it. I strive to be a little more like our caterpillar friend every day. Doing what needs to be done as it needs doing, moving on when it feels right, clinging when it feels right, and not thinking too much more about it.