Walking the park path today, which so often seems new rather than usual, I was reflecting on how many times during my years in education I observed the growth, hatching, and release of butterflies in the month of May…joyful in sending them off to freedom, wings taking them to who knows where, nourished by nature and hopefully, in whatever way happens for butterflies, knowing they were now in their full, fragile, glorious, gentle beauty. Always, I felt a moment of awe, not only for the butterflies but in watching the eyes of children as they said their goodbyes and observed the gorgeous creatures take flight. There was a palpable sense of pride, the children understanding they had done their job well in caring for and feeding they mystical, magical chrysalises…bring them to the birthing.
I began to mull a blog about my own chrysalis, or at least to probe the question of where my wings are taking me in this new month of May…to where am I ready to fly? And then I came across this poem by John O’Donahue, a current favorite author, and it says all I would have wanted to say today. It is too beautiful to keep to myself.
For A New Beginning
In out of the way places of the heart
Where you thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge
For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this
Then the delight, when your courage kindled
And out you stepped on to new ground
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plentitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promises of this opening
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire
Awaken your spirit of adventure
Hold nothing back
Learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Here’s to flying…beautiful, glorious flying