1 a : a pupa of a butterfly; broadly : an insect pupa b : the enclosing case or covering of a pupa
2 : a protecting covering : a sheltered state or stage of being or growth
Last Wednesday, B and a friend found a caterpillar. This caterpillar was different from the ones normally populating our yard in the spring. This one, B claimed, would turn into an actual butterfly. The girl has good instincts. Turns out she was right. She fed the caterpillar leaves from the plant she found him on and discovered that these were the only kind he would eat. She gave him a name (Artie), took him to school, looked him up online, carried him with her on a sleepover and cleaned his jar regularly. And Artie has rewarded her efforts by attaching his chrysalis to the lid of the jar so that we can watch him emerge as butterfly.
B's 2nd grade teacher from last year kindly shared her butterfly tent, which is hanging from the ceiling in our sun room so that Artie doesn't get jostled loose from his connection to the lid. I've already learned a lot from this guy and B's care of him (more to follow on that), but today I've been thinking about his time in the chrysalis.
I'd love to wind a net around myself and curl up for ten days. I would love the silence, the lack of motion, the lack of stimuli. I'd especially love to emerge as a new me at the end of those ten days...
I have been guilty of over-scheduling myself recently. Just this morning, I backed out of chaperoning a field trip for B on Thursday because without that day free, I would have two straight weeks of some commitment every day. That's just too much for me. I feel like an over-stimulated infant. Like the caterpillar, who ate everything in sight before going into his chrysalis, I have been allowing far too many inputs to worm their way into my brain. So I need to follow up my gorging on interaction with a bit of time alone.
And what would I do if I could find a chrysalis? I would bring along a good book, a well-weighted pen and a journal. I would read and write. Then write and read. Those are, after all, the only ways I know to encourage a new me.