There once was a little girl named Sam.
She spent her day in the wilderness amongst the walnut orchards and the towering oak trees, playing in the fields of tall grass. She was friends with all creatures grand and small. Every part of life was fascinating. Her own skin soft and delightful. The pink of her dog’s nose poking through where the black had worn away, a wet treat. The ants she watched with fascination. The wind she breathed in to catch. And the sky was her endless dream.
Nothing was missing or out of place. Everything moved as ordained in a perfect circle of give and take. Every part fit into place to make a glorious time, much as the intricate makings of a clock. All moved to produce one. All moved continually, and changed, and came back again. Returning to the eyes of the beholder what always was.
This little girl, she loved to dance and be. She could sit for hours and play inside her imagination whilst amongst nature’s gifts. Her bounty was the fallen twigs beneath her feet, the pebbles in her pockets and the taste of nectar on her tongue. Love was all about her, especially in the song of birds and the dipping of dragonflies as they danced reflecting the light with their transparent wings.
If colors were her world then the spectrum was grand—a thousand rainbows intertwined to form hues uncommon to the adult eye; colors that danced their own symphony producing brilliant songs from voices of angelic creatures.
There wasn’t a want or need. Just the simplicity of moving as one with the rest that danced. She was as a caterpillar set free upon endless green, nibbling at the gifts before her.
Until the rain came.
With the rain caterpillar ceased and butterfly was born. Butterfly was lovely, detailed and sketched in nature’s beauty, and able to fly and reach heights previously unimaginable. However, now she could dance outside her realm, her place, escape what she once knew as the only existence.
From up above, her angle changed. Her world became smaller and larger, all at once. Things she knew not of before appeared, and visions, she once believed in, vanished all together. As she watched and flew higher, she began to see where she’d been was nothing but a patch, a broken shattered fragment that with enough distance simply disappeared from sight.
When she returned and touched down, everything was altered, as her new eyes could not, as hard as she tried, see the terrain the same. All was different. All tainted with logic and reason and this undaunted inquiry.
That which was once simply existence, now was struggle. That which was once simply peace, turned to question after question. Her own beauty, that she had never doubted before, or even considered, now faded with her thoughts. And how those thoughts twisted within the others, creating a band so thick the toughest warrior could not break.
And now there were warriors. There were enemies and fighters. There were people who spoke untruths and hurt. There were diamonds that were stolen, treasures destroyed, and secrets kept. She knew then that the butterfly world was not where she belonged. Though she was butterfly.
She longed to return to the land of caterpillar. She longed for her old eyes, her old ways, her happiness.
She spent her days searching for kindness, for the place that once existed inside of her that was pure and innocent, the emerald of hope and faith that others now seemed to pierce and stab so often that she’d had to hide this essence out of fear of destruction.
And so she hid, inside herself, in this place.
When she was teased and admonished, she hid.
When she was tortured with looks and words, she hid.
When she tried to be as others wanted and she still was not enough, she hid.
And all the time she hid, she cried and wept for this land she knew before, where the birds sang and she only heard their music, where the wind blew and she only felt the air.
Now, with everything came explanation and reason. Now, with everything came doubt. And here, in this land of butterflies, she wished nothing but to pluck off her own wings and wither, if only to return to a part of her own self that could not fly above and see.
She’d wished for death, like so many misplaced butterflies do. Not death from her own being, but death from the world about her. To black out her surroundings and apply a fresh coat of white and paint again, a new picture, the one from before the rain came.
But still she remained butterfly.
As butterfly, she attempted to rebuild a cocoon, so she could crawl inside and wake up transformed to the time before.
As butterfly, she attempted to fly so high so she could leave behind all that was below. As butterfly, she tried to protect herself in armor, to shield her from the coming arrows. As butterfly, she tried to smear herself in masks and makeup, to pretend.
She tried and tried to no avail, and remained but a butterfly broken and alone, who knew of this land of before, when all about the rest had seemingly forgotten.
Until the time came.
And she heard an echo from the depths of her. And whispers poured in as the dew and quenched her unyielding thirst. She was shown then the way to caterpillar land. She was shown then how to bring peace to the butterfly. She was given the secret, the promise: a ray of hope so slender and tender that only this butterfly could keep safe.
And she did, inside of her deep, carried the ray day and night through years. Until the time came, and she knew what to do.
And so, with the coming season, with her heart knowing, as the light called from within, she set to spinning her ray, set her thoughts to words, so the world would know of the caterpillars, of the butterfly, of how the journey of broken, was also a journey of hope.
And in her weaving, the light shined and shined so bright from within, that the other lost butterflies found a way to this little Sam. And soon there were so many butterflies collected, that their wings together moved to carry them. And they moved and moved together, at last returning back home to the land of caterpillar, to the place they remembered of innocence and love, to the place of unreason and truth, to the place they could dance again in the spectrum of light united in their beauty. In a place where everywhere they looked they saw a reflection of self, and in so seeing realized the butterfly, though lost, had been found.
And so they danced, because of the promise of who they were, because of the place inside they kept all these years, they danced. And slowly they let go. Slowly the armor came off.
And slowly the light of the caterpillar shone through each of them so brilliantly that the world began to see that butterflies don’t have to let go of the caterpillar to fly.