Saturday, March 23, 2013

Forming wings?

A few nights ago I fast-forwarded my life a couple of decades and attended our neighborhood garden club meeting with the rest of the LOL's (little old ladies).  After a few preliminary club agenda items, they announced that the speaker for the evening had a slide presentation that would last "approximately 45 minutes" -- and when the speaker herself began her talk, she confessed that she often became long-winded and often went over the allotted time.  I began to really regret picking a seat all the way across the room from the door so I couldn't easily sneak out.  I mean, who has time to sit around and look at slides for most likely a lot longer than 45 minutes?

But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the (55 minute) talk.  It was all about butterflies (I wished I had brought Colsen -- he was pretty upset when he heard he missed it).  The speaker has photographed and observed caterpillars and butterflies in her backyard for 25 years and she had a lot of information to impart, most of which I had never heard before.

But the one thing that is really sticking with me has to do with the transformation of the monarch caterpillar to butterfly.  As she showed in her pictures, the caterpillar hangs upside-down for about 12 hours (with his feet hooked into a little mess of webbing that he's generated ahead of time), and then his skin will split and pull upwards, revealing the beginning of the chrysalis underneath.  And here's the part I found fascinating:  you can already see the outline of wings at this point.  Before he's even spent time in the chrysalis, while's he's still a caterpillar, the wings are already forming under his skin.

See the outline of the wings on the far right?

I wonder if there are any parallels with us.  I usually think of death as being the ultimate transformer;  at that point I will shed this body and receive a new one.  But could it be that underneath the raggedy sweatshirt and frizzy hair I'm sporting today, there are actually elements* of my new life/body being formed?  I can only hope!

*I kinda wish it was actual wings that were being formed.  So do my kids -- they've been trying to "fly" off the furniture all day today.

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