|Metamorphosis II, M.C. Escher|
Monarch butterflies are among the most amazing and beautiful creatures in the known universe. And probably in the unknown parts, too. Right now our metamorphosizing mentors are struggling.
The recent story of the monarch's plight is a story of resilience. With numbers dwindling, and their life-sustaining milkweed plant becoming rarer due to agriculture and urban expansion, they are still hanging in there.
This spring the butterfly's winter range in Mexico was hit with some late, unseasonably cold weather which froze many of them to the trees they were roosting upon. As I was reading about them on the weekend, before I could feel down about it, I read what a monarch researcher said about the incident.
"This is what nature gives you, and this is what you have to work with," she said.
"It's not at all disheartening. They manage to bounce back...," the researcher continued. "You're going to see these natural year-to-year variations in almost anything. Monarchs are remarkably resilient."
That was the take-away from the article. Monarchs are remarkably resilient. But it does't stop there. Nature is remarkably resilient. And we are part of nature.
These delicate creatures have so much to teach us. Are we not also beautiful? Can we not also metamorphosize and change ourselves completely from one form to another? And are we not able to overcome seemingly impossible odds?
I personally know people who have overcome monumental challenges. Cancer. Sickness. Disability. Abuse. Death. Abandonment. Modernity. Debt. Consumerism. Spiritual dehydration. It all pales in comparison to our resolve to carry on.
It is not at all disheartening. Rather, it is an opportunity for growth and change. When put to the test, we overcome.
Our efforts transform our character, our condition, and our function. Like an egg turning into a caterpillar, which turns into a chrysalis, and then finally in a burst of magic, into a beautiful butterfly.
The monarchs need a whole bunch more milkweed in their habitat in order to survive. I think about what humanity needs more of in order to survive. To thrive and turn into our final fully functional form.
What is our milkweed? Where has it gone, what has replaced it, and how do we get it back?