I recently started writing poetry again, for the first time in years. Some of it has been terrible, some okay, most of it will probably never been seen by other people. But one was about butterflies and it made me really happy. I was inspired by the butterflies in my classroom as they changed from squiggly little caterpillars to big, beautiful butterflies.
The change from caterpillar to butterfly is one of the most badass processes I’ve ever heard of. A caterpillar creates a hardened shell around itself, then melts. It’s entire, little squiggly body melts in that shell. And then rebuilds. She retains her memories, she’s the same bug she was, but she has to undergo that whole horrible process to become the gorgeous creature she is meant to be.
I just returned from a trip to England, visiting Walsingham. The Shrine used to be my home for at least two months a year, but until last week, I hadn’t been back for four years. In my absence, a lot has changed. There are people I knew who aren’t there. I thought I was prepared for it. And I was, on some levels. It was incredibly hard. I wasn’t prepared for the changes in the Shrine: lights where there didn’t used to be any, different hymns under a different administrator. I was different, too.
But some things never change. The Shrine is still the Shrine. The zillion masses a day are the same. The candles burning everywhere are the same. The chapels packed half with tourists and half with family are the same. It and I have both changed. And the changes have been difficult. In some ways, they’ve broken us down. But we’ve rebuilt, she and I, and we are both still strong and both still beautiful.
I’ll always love her. And I won’t wait as long to go back next time.