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Diapause

When Paul and I returned from Ukraine & Ireland, I was pleased to find my parsley plant covered with Black Swallowtail caterpillars. We had several caterpillars last year, but this year a total of 32 were eating, hiding, and enjoying my herb garden. I brought them into my butterfly house, provided them with organic parsley, cleaned out the frass daily and waited. They grew…and grew…and grew. Finally, they were ready to form their chrysalis and prepare for the time they would eclose.

But this year was different. There were a few that didn’t make it to the chrysalis stage. Four formed their chrysalis, but then were invaded by Chalcid wasps (equivalent of our Invasion of the Body Snatchers). When the first butterfly came out, its wings never developed for flight. I cried. Butterflies were made to fly. Several more emerged and flew off to the East. Currently I have about 8 chrysalis left, which have decided to diapause or over-winter (insect’s version of hibernation).

I researched and discovered I must place the butterflies outside, still in their house, in a protected space such as a porch with an overhang or a garage. I choose my garage and placed them up off the floor with a towel covering two sides of the house. They need protection from predators as well as some humidity and ventilation. Now, as the butterfly waits for spring, so do I. I am hopeful that they will emerge triumphantly next spring and fly off, perhaps returning to lay more eggs in my little herb garden.

As I contemplated my butterflies this year, I thought of how their metamorphosis is a perfect picture of ours. Some mature more quickly and emerge ready to fly. Others are attacked by the enemy or consumed by vices or the troubles of life and never emerge. Some think they are ready to fly, as they have made it through their metamorphosis, but still cling to the earth and don’t let their wings develop enough to fly. They are afraid, unsure of their newfound abilities. They cling to the life they knew before, even if it was painful because it’s what they know and it seems more comfortable. Then there are those who only need more time. They are changing and growing, but winter approaches. They know it’s not time to fly. It’s time to rest. Eclosing now would mean death. So, they wait.

What phase of metamorphosis are you in? If you are allowing growth and change, if you are resting when the winter of life comes, you are on the right path to becoming who you were meant to be. But, if you are afraid of the changes, if you complete your metamorphosis, but you’re afraid to spread your wings and fly, don’t despair…others have been there before, as well. You’re not alone. Don’t be afraid of this change. It’s new and strange, but it’s where you’re meant to be. You were meant to spread your wings and fly. And if you’re in the stage where you are allowing harm into your life whether from others or yourself, make the decision to stand up and say, “No More. This stops today.” Don’t let the “parasites” consume you. Finish your transformation.

Embrace the change. Eclose or diaspause. But grow. Be at peace and find gratitude and joy in your metamorphosis.

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And it’s only January

It may only be January, but my calendar is filling up quickly. One look at my Event Page will attest to this fact and that is only half of the excitement coming this year.

While I am currently scheduling dates to present programs at schools, libraries and civic clubs, I am also learning Russian. This summer I will be going on a mission trip to Ukraine to teach ESL. But before I can see how well I can speak русский (that’s “Russian” in Russian), I will also be applying my acting skills in a sci-fi film that will be filmed right here in southern Indiana and to which my wonderfully talented husband is assisting with the screenplay.

All of this is stirring my creativity more and more. I have recently finished the rough draft of my latest children’s book, which I hope to have available later this year. In addition, I started crafting diffuser bracelets, which contain lava beads. You drip essential oil onto the lava beads and carry the scent with you throughout the day. Today I have immune defense on my bracelet. You have to be healthy to do all the things on my schedule! I add either signature beads, charms, or affirmations to the bracelet, sometimes adding all three. Like I said, the creativity is bursting out all over.

This is certainly not all of my adventures for 2019. Life is exciting with its roller coaster ride of ups and downs. But no matter what may come this year, let’s make it a good one. I know I am going to live it to the fullest.