gen e sis
“The origin or mode of formation of something”
Synonyms: Origin, source, root, beginning, start, formation, development, evolution, emergence, inception, origination, creation, formulation, propagation.
I am claiming the last 12 months as the “year of the butterfly” for me. Really, it’s the last 16 months, but “the 16 months of the butterfly” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
If I’m being honest, I have a hard time remembering the person I was 12 (16) months ago. Moving away from the life I’d built and leaving behind the person I’d become seems like the decision that sparked the beginning of an entirely new life for me. Sorta like….. a butterfly….
Do you think the butterfly remembers what it was like to be a caterpillar?
I spent some time researching butterflies and their life cycle and what all goes into the epic transformation they make, but nobody seemed to know whether the same consciousness is in tact from caterpillar to pretty winged insect. Maybe they’re like goldfish, with a 2 second max-capacity for memory, or maybe they’re like elephants who never forget.
If they do remember their larvae state, do they have a better appreciation for their ability to fly than they would if they knew nothing else? Do they remember being hungry, and filling each day with nutrients that helped them grow bigger and bigger? Do they remember shedding their skin to encourage new growth? Do they remember their cocoon - being warm and safe, and taking the time to grow their wings? Do they remember their warm and safe place splitting open once it was time to show the world the magnificent transformation they’d made? Do they remember having to wait after their debut for their wings to dry and become strong enough for them to actually take flight?
What if they don’t remember any of that? What if they emerged from the cocoon and fully embraced their new self, with no memory of their past. What if they were able to operate confidently in the knowledge that they have everything they need? That now it’s time to go and serve their purpose pollinating flowers, migrating to warmer climates, and laying eggs to launch the start of a new generation. What if they aren’t burdened or motivated by their past and all the growing and stretching and changing they had to do?
As far as this metaphor serves, I hope both are true.
I feel like I have a better appreciation for life now because of who I’ve been and the experiences I’ve had, but at times I also feel burdened by those memories. This last year was the year of shedding my skin, growing, and shedding again. It seems to me that I’m now in the cocoon stage - warm, safe, and comfortable. I’m taking the time to grow my wings. I’m enjoying the rest after the arduous process of constant growth, but I’m anticipating the day the safe place cracks open, making space for me to begin the next stage. The stage of walking in freedom, confident in the knowledge that I have everything I need. The stage of fearlessly pursuing and walking in my purpose, motivated by my past, not burdened by it. I hope I remember all the growing, stretching, and changing. I hope I can appreciate freedom while fully understanding the work it took to get free.
I hope that for you, too.