For most of the past two days, I was in silence, and I wasn’t sure what to write about today, as the deadline for our weekly post is near, so I’m taking the opportunity to share a small saga from my life that began about a month ago. And, happily, it does tie in with one of the main things I realized during these past two days of reflection.
My son, Liam, has always been fascinated by insects, so much so that his first brush with mortality came at around age six, when he ‘gave back’ to the Universe his first pet, an inchworm named “Inchie”. My husband and I thought it would survive only a day or two at most, and we were amazed by the longevity of Inchie–he lived a little over a month in a small jar filled with some dirt, leaves, grass, and a stick.
My son kept Inchie close by and changed out his grass and sprinkled water into the habitat for him practically every day. I believe to this day that he flourished because of my son’s loving attention. When Inchie left us, we gave him a burial in the backyard and Liam made a little placard out of cardboard to mark the spot where he was buried. Many tears were shed for Inchie and he provided my son a glimpse of how sweet, yet brief life can be, and made later pet losses a little easier for him to bear.
I share this bit of our family history so that you can understand my actions of several weeks ago. I was taking my elderly Pomeranian out for a potty break on a very cold February afternoon, snow still covering the backyard. As I was walking across our covered carport, a small green object on the concrete caught my eye, and I bent down to pick it up. It was a tiny caterpillar and to my surprise, it moved in my hand! My son, now 19 years old, had recently completed a college class called “Insects and Society”, so I took the caterpillar inside to consult with him about what I had discovered.
He shared with me that in the fall, caterpillars undergo a change where the fluids in their bodies become something like antifreeze, and they burrow in the ground and ‘hibernate’ until spring. When the temperature warms back up, they revive and continue with their life cycle. By picking this little one up, I had inadvertently revived him–two to three months too early for him to have any chance of survival outside. Note: this little creature may have been a ‘her’, but since there is really no way to tell, I refer to it as a ‘him’. 🙂
I had no idea how that little creature came to be in the middle of our carport, perhaps a bird or other predator had dropped him there, but regardless of how he got there, I felt a responsibility for him since I had inadvertently revived him.
Based on our experiences with Inchie, 13 years earlier, I foraged in our snow-covered backyard and found some grass, and two types of leaves that were still hanging around, unfrozen. I lined a plastic container with a paper towel, added a small lid filled with water, and sealed the top with a ‘shaker lid’ that already had holes in it… the caterpillar was so small he might have squeezed out of the holes in the lid, so I taped over the outside of them and then using a pen, punched smaller openings into the plastic holes, so he was secure and had air–I didn’t want a caterpillar roaming around the house– we have two cats who are expert hunters!
My husband and son both thought I was pretty weird for adopting this caterpillar, but as I said, I felt responsible for him because I had revived him and he reminded me of Inchie (although he wasn’t an inch-worm, but he was little and green!). Because of my son’s class, he was able to go online and identify the type of caterpillar I had found–it wasn’t easy–there are hundreds and hundreds of caterpillars! He persisted in his search and after an hour or so found our caterpillar–it was a large yellow underwing or ‘Noctua Pronuba’. It was a relief to identify our little guest as I wasn’t sure I was feeding it correctly–turned out they love spinach leaves so I switched its food to that, and it thrived! I didn’t take a picture of it until it had practically tripled in size and developed some darker markings on top–it was still all green on bottom:
I learned that a growing caterpillar eats a lot and poops a lot, this new addition needed its habitat cleaned out daily along with its food and water refreshed–it was eating about 1-1/2 to 2 spinach leaves a day! After a few weeks, I noticed it stopped eating and it’s color wasn’t so good. Then it burrowed into the paper towel, shrunk in size, and stopped eating and drinking. After a day or so when I touched it, it didn’t move. I was crushed. It had been doing so well, and now it appeared to have died. I kept asking my son what he thought I had done incorrectly (as he had raised caterpillars, cockroaches and other insects in his classroom), but he told me I just needed to ‘let it go’ and that we would probably never know. It’s funny how our children switch roles with us sometimes!
Well, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the little guy, so he stayed in the container about a week with no signs of life that I could see. Finally, I asked my son to check on him one last time, as I just had to be sure he had really expired and wasn’t just building a cocoon or something, before I cleaned out the container. I wasn’t very hopeful at this point because he had looked so bad the last time I saw him!
To both our surprise, the little guy had pupated! He wasn’t pretty (I thought the caterpillar stage was much cuter, personally), but he was still with us! I hurriedly ordered a butterfly container online because I wasn’t sure how long he would be in his shell. The container arrived a couple days later and we transferred him to his new habitat. When I picked him up to move him, the end of his cocoon wiggled–which was really gross–but at least I knew he was alive! We shredded some paper and covered him with it because his species likes to burrow. And now we are waiting.
I can’t help but be a little impatient, it’s been about 3 weeks now since he pupated but my son explained to me that when inside the cocoon, the insect pretty much liquefies and then rebuilds itself into the moth or butterfly state. Wow! I had no idea that’s what was involved, and am now happily letting him take as much time as he needs!
At the insistence of my sister (I didn’t intend to name him), I have now officially named the little creature Mothra (huge Godzilla fans here, another byproduct of my son’s childhood!), and he is, after all, transforming into a moth! I’ve educated all my nieces and nephews about the life cycle of a caterpillar through sharing the story of Mothra’s discovery and growth, along with pictures of him. And he gets to be the star of a blog post on the internet—pretty amazing impact for such a humble creature!
You can probably guess how this relates to my silence the past few days. My realization started with our last tribe Zoom when our wonderful guide Nancy, informed us all that our future selves had now merged with our present selves! At the time, that really caught me off guard–inside I didn’t feel like I had transformed yet, or was in any way my future self right now.
After many long sits these past two days, I started to realize that yes, my future self has arrived. Reading through my stacks of flash cards I felt an intense gratitude for all the good in my life, all the affirmations and lessons I’ve learned, and dare I say, pride, that I have surprised my (old blueprint) self by sticking with my commitment to finish this class, by using the tools I’ve been given, and by internalizing so much of what I’ve been taught. I realize now that not only am I a different person from the one who started this journey 22 plus weeks ago, but each and every day I’m becoming more and more the person I intend to become by virtue of my actions, visualizations, and beliefs.
And, gross as it may be, I think my old blueprint is nearly liquefied and my present self HAS finally merged with my shimmering future self (as Davene said on a past webinar–I loved how she put that!). I may not have manifested everything that I will yet, but I know it’s on its way to me. Regardless of what I have or have not manifested, I claim my future self today, and every day to come. I really love her and am so happy to be her. I’m finally in charge of my own thinking, focusing on what it is I want to have and be, and holding all of it in my mind as already mine. I can’t describe the depth of my gratitude for the things I’ve learned and been able to put into action into my life as a result of being a part of the Master Key Experience. Being able to relate my metamorphosis to Mothra’s really helped me understand the process I’ve been undergoing with the MKE, and I’m thankful that this tiniest of teachers appeared in my life when he did!