The world turns and the hours of daylight increase. Spring approaches and Lent begins.
Last weekend I was blessed to spend a retreat day with my dear friend, visionary, and artist, Karen Blessen. Twenty-three years ago Karen and I co-created the book, Be An Angel. Ours is a life-long “soul sister” friendship. Our conversations and Karen’s wisdom always inform and nourish my spirit.
During our recent visit Karen shared her thoughts about butterflies and the scientific/spiritual mystery of what transpires within the chrysalis as the caterpillar transforms to a butterfly. Today as spring approaches and the Lenten season of reflection begins, I choose to contemplate a particular aspect of the caterpillar’s stunning journey of transfiguration/transformation.
The first step of the caterpillar’s mysterious experience occurs when it creates a tiny silk pad on the underside of a branch or twig. Next, it engages a hook-covered appendage (a cremaster) to attach itself to the silky pad. Then the caterpillar twists round and round to firmly embed its cremaster within the silk. After it is securely fixed, it sheds its skin to become the chrysalis. The chrysalis hangs down from the cremaster until the butterfly’s transformation is complete and it emerges.
The concept of the cremaster fascinates me, as does the entire metaphoric experience of a caterpillar’s transformation to become the butterfly.
Reflection questions arise: Where is my sacred anchoring place? What does my cremaster look like? How will I anchor myself to allow the Lenten transformation to take place?
I close my eyes and envision myself, not unlike the caterpillar. As I enter the portal to be fully present to the forty sacred days of Lent, I anchor myself to the commitment of my daily spiritual practice: prayer, sacred reading, and reflection. My cremaster takes the form of my Lenten journal and pen. I will record my journey as I dissolve into the Mystery, and I pray to emerge from my chrysalis at Easter renewed, inspired, and ready to fly to where the wind carries me.
Where is your sacred anchoring place? What does your cremaster look like? How will you anchor yourself to allow the Lenten transformation to take place?