Today, the book I was reading got wet
I left it outside on the porch, let the rain
Trample over the opened pages, and
didn’t realize what I had done
until the downpour subsided
And the rain slowed to a drizzle
When I picked it up next, I cried
Such a small thing to get upset over
But lately I’ve been feeling as flimsy as these wet pages
As bendable as the soft paper cover
As fragile as the watered down edges
And lately, I’ve been more and more like water
Like a stream traveling with no destination
Loose, unformed, lacking a single shape
So easily folded into nothing in particular
And as hard as I‘ve been trying,
it seems all I find are shadowed crevices
and because of gravity and because I am water
All I can do is fall through
Separating even more of myself
until I’m just
But when I opened the book, I saw that my notes
Haphazardly scribbled– were unmarred
The spine of the cover– intact
and the dog eared pages– still folded
When I saw this, I cried again.
And as the droplets began to fall once more,
As the gray clouds danced against the wind,
I laid my book beneath the fan
Walked outside, let my limbs fall languidly
Felt my body flow north
And joined the rain
Home and Heaven
Imagine angels playing an invigorating game of soccer on a heavenly cloud–their wings damp from exertion and halos knocked askew from all the movement. The Cherubim sit on the golden bleachers cheering while the Strongholds coach their players on the field. The Seraphim referee the game while God keeps score.
The Guardian Angels and Archangels are tied. Intensity fills the crowd as Michael dribbles the ball down the field with only a minute left to play. Before he makes it to an ideal position to score, Harmony swoops in for the blessed steal. The angels go wild spilling raspberries and peanuts on the cloudy floor. The ball is kicked to the angel Afriel. It’s a give-and-go and Harmony launches it into the goal right past Gadreel. The last goal has been made and all the angels cheer. In a fit of excitement the winged warriors doggy pile on Harmony and accidentally break off a piece of their celestial cloud.
Unaware of their actions, the tiny piece of heaven bursts through Earth’s atmosphere, spiraling down until it gently lands upon a section of the planet where the edge of the ocean meets the horizon. It is in this area of the sea where the cloud sinks to the bottom and like a mustard seed, sprouts from the ocean floor.
An island is created.
There is calmness spread from the movement of nature. Clouds collide into one another, crafting shapes that no one sees the same way. The sound of the wind dances through the people and shifts the beads of sand creating a ballad of tranquility. But even when the land lays still and the people go to sleep, there is music in the silence. The warmth of the sun seeps into their skins and light is injected into every pore. In their veins, sunrises begin to form.
In that space, the ocean gleams in cerulean waves, the ceaseless sunshine reflects from vibrant leaves onto the eyes of a beloved, and the trees within the vicinity sway to the rhythmic melody of the breeze. In the early morning light, multifarious hues of purples and pinks bless the moving waters with a pale shadow; but in the coming twilight, the skies melt to an extravagant canvas that only the hands of a god could create.
People will often ask, “What do you call this place.”
The only reply is, “Home.”
Do you ever look at a butterfly and notice its translucent wings of various hues and patterns? It flutters in the sunlight and its beauty is magnificent. We marvel at the hands of nature, so skilled and so brilliant to be able to create a creature so immaculate. Yet, when we look at a caterpillar, often times, we view it only as what it can be, not what it is. The significance of a caterpillar is not that it is a caterpillar, but that it can become a butterfly.
Such a creature is characterized most of all by its evolution, which is the epitome of profound reinvention. A caterpillar’s very being is made of billions of cells who dutifully perform every task necessary to prepare its host for the final stages of metamorphosis. It sheds its old skin, lives in a new one for a while and when it outgrows that one, it sheds again. Then when it is ready, the caterpillar hides from the world, cocoons itself in a hard casing, and forms a chrysalis. It is during this time of progression that the cells of the caterpillar start changing rapidly. It eats itself and turns to liquid inside its pupa, molding into a new form better equipped for its new life. Old, unnecessary cells make room for improved ones while the other cells that remain reshape themselves into eyes, legs, wings and antennas– all the parts necessary for its reintroduction into the world. Then once the butterfly is ready, it fights its way out of its cocoon.
It reaches the final stage of its transformation, but it is still weak. Its body is still tender from the process of its transition. There is a brief period after it first unfolds from its casing where the butterfly must stop and give itself time for blood to fill its wings.
Then it flies.
No longer confined to the limits of its many legs, the butterfly explores the infinite paths of new wings.
We are, in so many ways, caterpillars crawling and consuming ceaselessly and without thought. When we reach our limit, we find ourselves at a standstill. During this time, it is easy to think we’ve reached our end and that there’s nowhere else to go. Like the cells of the caterpillar, every part of us will start to seem useless, unable to perform the tasks that were once necessary for survival and for growth. Our old cells are no longer beneficial, so we outgrow them. Thus begins our own transition where our old self forces itself into a new mold. We learn, adapt, and become better versions of who we are.
It is because we have these periods of weakness that we can achieve such strength. And just like butterflies, the lengths of our transitions vary among each one of us. While some may only take a couple weeks to transform themselves, others can take months and even years. Regardless, we are not defined by how long it may take us to escape our cocoon because we are ever-growing creatures running through an obstacle course that’s unique to us.
So when you look upon others who seem to be soaring with ease, and feelings of defeat start to consume you, remember that you are still a changing caterpillar simply growing within your chrysalis. The process of your transformation will be an arduous one. Yet, it is because of its difficulty that you will be better. You will be stronger. You will leave your cocoon with wings so radiant, you will be blinding.
And yes. You will be magnificent.