Years ago I worked at a small nature center in Nederland, Colorado and directed a book project with a group of 5 and 6 year olds called The Most Important Thing. Each student created one page in the book, filling in the blank after “the most important thing about me is….” Of course I had to make a page too. On my page it reads, “the most important thing about me is I love not man less but nature more.” I borrowed the lines from the end of a beautiful poem by Lord Byron.
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, There is rapture on the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, the music in its roar, I love not man less but nature more.
My intimacy with nature defines me. Nature nourishes my spirit and makes my soul dance with joy. I am happiest when I am outside, surrounded by the beauty and wonder of nature.
Do you feel this way too? What would your page say? What is the most important thing about YOU?
Lately I have been raising Monarch caterpillars (because I feared their field was going to be mowed) and just recently, the first three emerged from their chrysalises, entering the world for the first time as winged adults. This morning I sat watching and waiting for close to 5 hours, wanting to be present when they emerged. In studying them so closely I noticed subtle changes that took place throughout the process. It was fascinating! And I was captivated. Not wanting to go anywhere else or do anything else for fear of missing it.
Have you ever had the pleasure of witnessing this? My gosh, it is absolutely miraculous! Breathtaking. A moment that rivals some of the most extraordinary natural events I have ever seen.
4 weeks ago, the creature was an egg the size of a freckle. The creature struggled out of its egg and became a caterpillar, eating, eating, eating, eating for two weeks until it was ready to make its chrysalis. And then. Then there was stillness. And inside the thin green walls of that chrysalis, the caterpillar was rearranging its parts. Close to two weeks later, it came out as a winged adult. 2 Weeks! My gosh, how is this possible?
“How does it do that?” someone asked at my recent Little Wonders program when we were talking about the metamorphosis of butterflies.
I am sure science has a better answer than mine–which was simply that “I don’t know. But wow, is it miraculous!” Sometimes in nature it feels okay to me to not know EXACTLY how. I don’t need to know every single detail. My awe and wonder at the event brings me to tears, I am so amazed that such a thing is possible. And then, so incredibly grateful that I get to see it, know about it, learn from it, be inspired by it. Then watch it again. And again.
It makes me think of this great quote I came across many years ago by Albert Einstein. I will share it with you now–a bonus quote of the week for this last week in August:
“The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the source of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.”
Would people appreciate butterflies more if they witnessed this emergence? How can these miraculous events not make national news? These things happen every day! How can people see this and not feel compelled to share it with every single person they know? And then do EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to protect these amazing creatures, to make sure that they continue to thrive! (Read HERE about ways you can help Monarchs and coming soon, 10 things you didn’t know about butterflies…stay tuned.)
Watch with me as the first butterfly emerges… is it nature for your soul too?
Now, if that wasn’t enough and you are still wanting more, here’s a bonus... the BEST drug commercial you’ll ever see!
Do you take this drug? Are you– like me– addicted? Woo hoo, isn’t it wonderful!!! Amazing everyone doesn’t know about this! How can this be?
(Read the fine print as it goes along… what is your favorite part? Mine is the sentence that says “nature is not golf.” )
Hope to hear from you! Today I will be watching the last of the 4 original Monarchs emerging from its chrysalis! Can’t wait. Here’s wishing you a bit of magic in your day too….it’s everywhere, you just need to look!