Sunday, 13 February 2011

'... a little egg lay on a leaf ... '

Feeling adrift, aimless. I have to watch that I don't drift and cruise too much through these days, and waste time. And yet, I must also allow it to happen, as it is a natural part of the process and phase I am in at the moment.

Eric Carle's children's book, 'The Hungry Caterpillar', opens with the words (I hope I remember  correctly) ... 'In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf' … That's me. Again. I'll explain.

Not so long ago I worked out a theory. My theory was that in my life a pattern could be worked out that reflected / imitated the life-cycle of a butterfly. 

When I look back on my life up until the present time, I can see how it fits. So far, I have passed through two butterfly cycles. I am now back at the 'egg phase', characterised by reflecting, collating, dreaming. (It was the stage when I was a baby through to seven years old, receiving impressions - quietly on the surface, busily in my brain – and exploring and discovering new things).

The second time I entered the egg phase, I was 28 years old and a young mother to (eventually) three boys. This was a time of focussing on what was around me, ordering the environment so that I wasn't too overwhelmed in my role as mother, seeking the friendship and company of other mothers of young,… receiving impressions, quietly, freely exploring and discovering life through the eyes of my children.

Now, at the age of 57, I am in the egg phase once again; this time a grandmother and entering another reflecting, gathering, gleaning and thinking stage.

Of course this is a personal theory only, but for interest sake, this is how I would describe the stages:

EGG: Patient years: dreaming, reflective, gleaning, gathering, exploring, thinking, experiencing, conjecturing.
CATERPILLAR: Hungry years: busy, energetic, working, motivated, confident, achieving, planning, involved, enforcing, moving on.
CHRYSALIS: Formative years: protecting, buffering, withdrawing, guarding, retracting, analysing, establishing, consolidating.
BUTTERFLY: Celebratory years: enjoying, celebrating, expanding, delighting, daring, experimenting, rebelling, strengthening.

Now you are going to have to believe me when I say that up to this point I believed that I was the only one that thought of my life as reflecting the stages of a butterfly's life cycle. After writing this piece, I Google-d seven year cycles, and found two links which seem to echo what I am saying ... very freaky. One even has butterfly images in the header!

I also found out that Eric Carle, who wrote 'Hungry Caterpillar', has a blog!

I also have a theory about how we shed 'skins' through our life, like snakes do. But (I can hear audible sighs of relief) I will leave that for another time.


J.T. Webster said...

I hadn't thought of specfics, as you have, but I have a real sense of evolving in recurring stages. At the moment I feel like I'm bursting out of a chrysalis!

BTW your photos are awesome.

Anne S said...

If you are a believer in Astrology there are several phases you go through according to planetary returns to the postion they were at your birth. The Saturn return is the best known of the cycles and recurs every 28/30 years.

Check out the Mystic Medusa blog if you are interested. It's a great astrological blog and the has the best and funniest comments

McDinzie said...

I have to agree with your way of looking at life...not sure what stage I am in...certainly not the rejoicing side :-)

rel said...

Back a few years ago, late m1970s I recollect, I read the book "Passages" by gail Sheehy. Therein she talks about the stages of ifes transformation that we, humans all must pass through. Not that the time-line for these transformations is fixed, only that we all must pass through them.

I realized then, many things, most important to me, that I was one of many and rarely if ever had an original thought and that being said, brought me a peace of mind to know that everything is progressing according to plan.


KAT ADL'S said...

Hi Kay
I love the hungry caterpillar book.It has been a mainstay of my learning about my self along with other children's literature.I spent a year in the hungry caterpillar stage and then I progressed to 'going on a bear hunt...I am still hunting bears and pushing through mud. All-sorts of stories pop up to teach me. I love it when I actually slow down and pay attention, and realize one has been in my head.Its helps me work out what is going on. All that good reading when my children were small.
thanks for sharing I shall check out Eric's Blog.

KAT ADL'S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Halpern said...

I enjoyed your butterfly theory of time. Yes life seems to have intervals of activity followed by times of reflection.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hey lady!!

I wanted to check on you to make sure you are alright after the horrible earthquake that struck NZ.

How are you? What's going on?



A said...

interesting! I guess i am in an egg-phase too.

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