Maybe because it is Spring, or maybe because the sun is finally shining, either way, I have seen an unusual number of yellow butterflies. In this season of quarantine and social distancing, I have spent much of my exercise time outside, in my favorite spot, hitting the nature trails. While running around, soaking up as much sunshine as possible, I have noticed these little yellow lovelies flitting and floating everywhere along my path.
As I walked with my youngest daughter last night, we talked about everything and nothing, trying desperately not to say anything about what is going on in the world. But, as many of you have encountered personally, it doesn’t take long to realize that every facet of our world has tentacles reaching out from Covid-19.
One of the topics we stumbled upon was a realization she had about herself. She is typically very introverted, content to keep pretty much to herself. She can spend a day lost in her books and never regret a moment spent in another universe. She loves, cherishes her alone time. It feeds her spirit. But, she has realized in all of this alone time, she misses her friends and teachers. She realized that she is more of a people person than she previously gave herself credit for. In her isolation, she discovered another piece of herself.
As she shared this with me, I realized areas that had come to light in all of this isolation. I have been wrestling with anxiety taking hold of my thoughts and actions, leaving me wrecked with low fevers, arm pain, stomach aches. I just felt generally unwell. All of this isolation shed light on a part of me I hadn’t given any notice to.
On and on we talked, sharing little noticings in this time of quarantine. Together we realized that this time is putting a microscope on all of our lives. We are all going through this time of great revelation.
As I washed away the day, it hit me: this isolation, this quarantine, it is a cocoon.
We have all been forced into our own cocoons. They may be physical shelter cocoons made of wood or brick, or they may be emotion enveloping cocoons wrapped in fears and worries, but nevertheless, they are cocoons that we are wrapped up in. In this time of metamorphosis, we have the chance to see ourselves more clearly, to rest, to heal, to replenish, and restore. We have the opportunity to grow and to evolve. We have the opportunity to come out of this whole thing different. Beautiful. Mature in our creation. And one day, we will emerge. But rest assured my friend, when we do, we will be wonderfully different.
And it gives me great hope for the process we are all in, around this globe, you and I. We are both in our cocoons, growing, transforming, and soon emerging.
When you look at the life of a butterfly, the cocoon is probably the most significant of all of the phases. In this phase it not only goes through its most remarkable changes, but it builds up it’s greatest strength. In the emerging, the butterfly gains immeasurable strength, pressing against the walls that once concealed it’s transformation. It pushes hard to break through to the outside world it longs to rejoin. And it must do this and do it all alone. In the pressing and the pushing and the building up of enough strength to finally break out, the butterfly gains the necessary power to fly when finally on the other side.
What you are doing in your cocoon matters. This season of isolation, you are doing the work only you can do. This is the mirror work between you and you. The magnifying glass is honing in on things that don’t feel great to say out loud. It is forcing you to take a whole new look at your beliefs, finances, relationships, and so much more. And it turns out that it all serves a beautiful purpose. All of the pressing and the pushing that happening in your spirit, is strengthening you, giving you the power to fly, once you have victoriously emerged.
And you will.
As I prepared to sit down and write to you tonight, I decided I should look up what possible meanings a yellow butterfly might bring. I know that people find symbolism in many of our created things, so I figured there might be something more and here is what I found.
“A yellow butterfly represents joy and creativity. It reminds us to have fun.
A yellow butterfly flying around you brings happiness and prosperity.
Seeing one also means that something fun and exciting is on its
way. Yellow butterflies represent new life in many cultures.”
You and I will emerge from this cocoon, this season, and it will be so beautiful!