I spin a shroud about the past,
Sink within to primordial places,
Where I dissolve and resolve,
Rearrange my very molecules,
And imagine myself flying.
Greetings to our friends and community!
It’s a warm and sultry afternoon. I sit outside slightly drowsy and watch the bees sipping from chive and oregano blossoms wondering what chive and oregano honey might taste like—a Monarch butterfly and then two more flit and frolic and play with air and the riot of blossoms around me. My attention is caught by the magic and mystery of transformation.
Several years ago, when The Great White Oracle Thule dropped his poodle form (Hail Thule, born August 1), Anna Chapman brought me a ‘butterfly plant’ replete with Monarch butterfly caterpillar. I was still mourning. It was before my grief turned to joy. The gift was a powerful symbol of both transformation and the cycle of life/death/life. I placed it with his body that had become an altar. After three days, it was time for me to let go of the remnants of his form; I took Thule to be cremated and put the plant outside.
Sometime later, I came home one night and every single leaf had been stripped bare and there was a hoard of really plump, very satisfied looking caterpillars. This was my first emergency nursery run for more ‘caterpillar food’.
Every spring since then, seemingly out of nowhere, a Monarch butterfly will show up and find Thule’s plant. I marvel at how a single butterfly can find a single ‘butterfly plant” in an individual backyard in Santa Barbara. What a miracle!
We are all familiar with the transformative journey of the butterfly, but what about the plant? From complete naked decimation, it valiantly re-creates itself again and again, to be devoured again and again. It has its own special phoenix magic.
We are on our third generation of egg- caterpillar-chrysalis-butterfly this season. There has been the joy of discovering three newly emerged butterflies drying and stretching their wings. There have been a few heart breaks. There has been the emergency rescue call to local Monarch expert (thank you Colleen) and the nursery plant runs.
The butterfly transformation as metaphor has been used so relentlessly that sometimes it is in danger of losing its mojo for me; seeming old and hackneyed. But then spring and summer come, the Monarchs return, and it is reborn; fresh, new and powerful.
By the end of this month, the butterflies will begin their journey south, and I will wait with eager anticipation for the day next spring when I am found again. In the meantime, I practice my own form of phoenix magic.
May your dreaming take flight,
Teresa, spirit of Thule, Tucker and Huxley