Metamorphosis is defined as a change of form, shape, substance, or structure. Transformation. Whether this change is manifested physically or spiritually or both depends on the situation. Spring is a season of metamorphosis, as the earth awakes from its long winter slumber, stretches, and unfurls a carpet of color and wonder, as if by magic. No magic here, though, just the natural order of our environment, the progression of one season giving way to another. And as it is in nature, so it is with people, too.
I’ve always loved Spring, love the feeling of being freshly alive to the beauty unfolding around me, day by day. Small changes at first: new green leaf buds, the sealed heads of tulips and daffodils poking through a carpet of last autumn’s dry leaves, slowly opening, turning saucy faces to the sun. Birdsong greets the morning; the colors are vivid, bright and bold as they are only in Spring’s first flush. My spirit seems to expand and I feel reborn, too, as if my soul had been washed and starched and hung out to dry in the golden, lilac-scented sunshine. Warmer temperatures beckon, inviting me to take my first cup of morning coffee out on the deck, lean on the rail, and just be. The house finches have returned and I smile to see their lovely raspberry color at the feeder. Soon all the colorful birds will be back, the goldfinches, the orioles. Bluebirds. Rose-breasted grosbeaks. Flocks of pelicans wheel high overhead, riding a thermal, their awkward beauty transformed into grace. Squirrels feast on leaf buds and all of nature is bursting with life.
Not all change is lovely, or easy. And when you find yourself in the midst of it you wish you were safely on the other side, looking back, seeing the new growth so painfully wrought. We want sunshine and flowers, not the hard work of making the flowers bloom. The result, rather than the process. That the process is essential to the result is one of those unpalatable truths, without the spoonful of sugar. Nothing remains in stasis–not a plant, bird, or human being. Not even rocks, which erode slowly over time by the softening touch of water. If you doubt the transformative power of water, visit the Grand Canyon, shaped and sculpted by ancient water drops relentlessly working their will on stone.
The butterfly is a symbol of change, of emerging, of becoming. Without the ungainly caterpillar, the cocoon, without dark nights of enclosure, there would be no rebirth into beauty. In our darkest hours, it helps to remember that all things pass, that nothing is forever except eternity. Whatever stage you find yourself in today,the butterfly is the promise. Hold fast to your resolve…and trust that something beautiful is ahead, waiting for you to discover it.