I’ve been watching a chrysalis in my garden for a week now, and today a gorgeous butterfly emerged. She’s finally here!
She’s a female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
She waits for the right time. If it’s too cold, too windy, or too wet, she knows. She’ll proceed another day, another month, when conditions are perfect.
Today’s her day! So why in the world is she just sitting there?
I read that after she comes forth from the chrysalis (a great word: from the Latin chyrsallid and Greek chrysos meaning “gold”) she pumps her wings full of blood, and then she’s required to sit very still and let her wings dry. They have to harden in order to support her in flight.
This could take three hours.
How hard must this be for her to wait, very still, when she was made to fly, when she’s been waiting for this her whole life?
As she waits, she’s extremely vulnerable to many predators (birds, spiders, ants, wasps, snakes). She’s delicious and vibrant and without any defense.
I think about her all morning. My youngest daughter and I creep around the garden barefoot, dew soaking even our legs. We approach her, and she doesn’t move. She can’t. She’s not ready, not even a little bit.
How could I not think of those of us waiting for things–letting our wings harden–in that fragile and dangerous time (dangerous because of the lies that assault us) when something’s just about to happen but we aren’t quite ready? We have to stay still and obey the process. We can’t rush. Our whole flight depends upon it.