Thursday, April 29, 2021

A Caterpillar

I love to find magic in the every day.  My favorite genre is magical realism, excluding any dealings with the occult.  I want to attribute all of the magic found in the world to God.  I know you may think me childish to think this way.  I think of the Shel Silverstein poem, "Magic."  Yes, Friends, all of the magic I have known has not been what people normally think of as magic.  The truth of the matter is that I have not had to make all the magic that I have known myself, but this is an admirable thought.  I borrow the term from Eric Andreen, that deep philosopher, Sovereign-dipity.  Others have chosen to call it Providence, a better word for when God comes around and you just know it.  And sometimes... Magic happens. 

Yesterday I was washing my hair and I look down at what looked like a caterpillar.  I could not deal with that caterpillar.  I couldn't!  I had to get ready and I was already running late.  I left the shower, hoping that it was some lint and went on my merry way.  As I got home I hadn't been home but a minute and I called my son, David to investigate.  I asked him to see if there was a corpse of a caterpillar in the shower.  It had to be dead if it was a caterpillar.  I mean... However did this caterpillar come to be in that shower with me?  Had he been living in my hair?  I hardly ever see caterpillars around where I live.  Where did this little guy come from?  David called from the bathroom that it was, in fact, a caterpillar.  He went to lift up the little corpse and the little guy began to wriggle!!!  "He's alive!!!"  This small thing took a shower with me, spent the day in a shower and still lived.  This is what I think is so magical.  My son, who loves little needy things, almost as much as I do, gently lifted up the caterpillar and found him a home outside among our weeds.  He named him Jeremy.  Immediately I thought of the Pearl Jam song, probably not the meaning of the song but the chorus certainly hit me.  

Today I am thinking of this caterpillar as I write my lists of things to do in my To Do Book.  I go back to check that everything is checked from last week.  I am beginning to feel the effect of my leaving.  There is a niggling feeling about one or two of them, my students. Maybe they are my caterpillars that I am trying to raise up to be butterflies in this world.  Somehow, I feel like I am the caterpillar.  I feel like dear Jeremy who made his way to my shower.   I hope you live, dear caterpillar.  I hope you are able to flex your wings and fly. 

The act of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly is magical to me.  One minute you are little, crawling around in the ground.  The next moment you sleep and when you wake up, a butterfly.  Is it not magic?  Is this not a wonder of God?  Is this not a miracle?  If God can do this for a tiny insect, how much more for you?  How much more for a widow approaching 50?  She's nothing but an old teacher.  I can understand why Jack bought those beans.  You would pay about anything to get what God gives us His children for free.  He gives us life when we are nothing but some dried up bones in a desert.  He gives us green grasses for sand.  He gives us beauty for ashes.  We are but caterpillars and He makes us butterflies.   Praise the Lord!!!

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