CAN THE CATERPILLAR BECOME A BUTTERFLY? A CONTEXT FOR THE CHAOS Of CLIMATE CHANGE
At times, I find myself uneasy and fearful about what is happening to our planet. As the dire realities of climate change grow, using the context of a World Chrysalis helps me stay strong and committed.
In Nature’s Chrysalis, once the caterpillar has spun a cocoon, it begins to die. The energy given off by its dying cells fuels creation of new cells, called imaginal cells. As imaginal cells form, caterpillar cells attack them. As imaginal cells survive and multiply, they reach a tipping point, allowing them to form the butterfly.
How can this context of a World Chrysalis help us all in addressing the impacts of climate change?
The context of a World Chrysalis can help us see that old systems and ways of doing things are dying, just as the caterpillar does when it is in a cocoon. We can see the destruction of old systems as necessary so that new systems can form. (We cannot have a clean and healthy planet if we continue burning fossil fuels.) We can imagine and describe the butterfly we want to create and get to work.
The context of a World Chrysalis allows us to see our role and those of others in positive terms. We are imaginal cells creating the butterfly — a new, sustainable world. For the butterfly to form, it is essential that we support each other and multiply, by nurturing each other’s creativity, imagination and innovation.
The context of a World Chrysalis can give us inspiration. When we encounter opposition and adversaries we know that the old systems are dying and fighting for survival. We keep going with our work to create new systems that are the future.
When we face chaos and uncertainty we can know that in the cocoon of Nature’s Chrysalis caterpillar cells fight to live and imaginal cells fight to multiply. We know that in the midst of chaos and uncertainty in our World Chrysalis the butterfly is being formed.
When we face failure or setbacks we can know that, in Nature’s Chrysalis, the butterfly will not survive if it emerges from the cocoon before it is strong and fully formed. We need patience and persistence. We cannot rush forward haphazardly or underestimate those working against us. We must build our strength and accept that struggle is part of the power of our World Chrysalis.
When we become discouraged, tired or fearful we can remember that as in Nature’s Chrysalis destruction brings rebirth. We are building new, vibrant systems that can outlast the old ones. The new systems we are building are in harmony with the earth and do not deplete our planet; rather they sustain and honor it.
The failure and collapse of old systems, feeds the creation of new ones. As people see these failures they understand the need for new, vibrant systems. Each failure or collapse can be a call for something different and new for the world.
Seeing the chaos of climate change in a context of a World Chrysalis provides hope that the butterfly — a clean and healthy planet — will emerge from the cocoon of our hard work together to dazzle us with its beauty!
Illustration: Gerd Altmann, pixabay.com