A couple days ago I planted the milkweed plant, careful not to disturb the resident Monarch. This morning I went to the garden to check on the caterpillar we are affectionately calling "Frida," but it was nowhere to be found, nor was it immediately visible when I went out to check seven hours (but who's counting!) later. Because I'm a human who becomes easily attached to the other creatures in my orbit, I already feel an attachment to this wee totem of transformation. Turns out, my visiting caterpillar was merely resting in the shade under one of the milk weed leaves, wisely out of sight and sunlight.
Unlike humans, Caterpillars are innately engineered to adjust to the circumstances of their brief yet brilliant lives. In actuality, only one or two out of 100 eggs become adult butterflies. Nature, in the form of predators and disease and parasites, kills 98% of eggs, hatchlings, and pupa, before they become butterflies.
Nature also kills a fairly significant percentage of humans at various stages of our development, due to predators and disease and, in many cases, due to our own stupidity (hello, gun enthusiasts), but we tend to think of these untimely deaths as the exception rather than the rule; as a complete and tragic loss rather than a change of state (or being).
Love comes with the inevitability of loss, through death or because the relationship just didn't work out as we had imagined. Today's little (big) lesson in the garden leads me to ponder ways I might hold what and whom I love with joyful gratitude and peaceful acceptance, and to keep my attention on the only moment that is certain.
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