2018. New Year’s Day. I am with family in Florida and noticing many interesting insects, including these caterpillars and moths:
I keep seeing caterpillars and moths, so I begin researching their symbolic significance. Suddenly I realize this is another example of everyday divination and miraculous timing, as caterpillars are helping me see the potential of birthing new projects and ways of being in the near year. They ask me to look more carefully at changes in my life and to ask what transformations I’d like to experience this year.
The symbolic significance of seeing caterpillars may be small (like the caterpillars themselves), but what’s small can have BIG impact.
Just as caterpillars transformed into butterflies can influence weather patterns miles away, the butterfly effect reminds us that actions can create far-reaching ripples. A flap of the wing matters.
With the caterpillar’s reminder, I’m entering 2018 attentive to small moments. I’m asking myself in what moments am I closer to my best self. When am I truer to my commitments? When am I standing TALL? When am I acting in ways that might ripple outward toward social action and social justice?
I’ve noticed in the past days a few moments that might be small flaps of my butterfly wing:
- Talking with a white family member about how the frame of whiteness limits our understandings, experiences, and relational networks.
- Witnessing sexism impacting me and repeating to myself: “That’s not mine. I’m not taking it in. I’m investing my energies toward building gender justice.”
- Instead of blowing up in a hard conversation, noticing myself get angry, allowing the anger, stepping away, and then re-engaging when ready.
- Preparing and sharing yummy vegan foods for kids who ask for more: more strawberry smoothies, roasted potatoes, pancakes, tempeh sticks, and other foods creating memories.
The small signs of seeing caterpillars and moths are reminding me to appreciate small actions like these. In 2018, I hope to amplify, multiply, and learn to sustain these small actions. And I hope that like asking for more yummy foods, we ask for more of ourselves and our collectives. A sort of “more” that manifests in everyday, seemingly small, and consequential ways.
This post is written by Beth Godbee for Heart-Head-Hands.com. For more posts like this one, you might try “Why I’m Vegan: Doing Something Small and Sustained” or “Today Resistance Looks Like …” Please also consider following the blog via email. Thanks!