Monday, 15 August 2011

a pile of goo with new possibilities

While we've been learning about butterflies, I came across something interesting. In the chrysalis, the caterpillar becomes a pile of goo where “imaginal cells” start to appear. At first, the old caterpillar kills them off. But these clumps of imaginal cells keep forming, and eventually reach a critical mass so that they change the destiny of the caterpillar. A new consciousness being born...
a caterpillar transforming into a chrysalis

see the wings? getting ready to emerge
I’d like to think that each year I go through a cocooning stage, where I will be emerging as something new, but that TOGETHER with others we can be something new too - clustering to form a critical mass of imaginal cells. As I think ahead to September, I imagine the newness that may come - new projects, new routines, new beginnings. September feels way more like New Year's to me than January 1st does. Having been a student or a teacher for most of my life, that rhythm of beginning anew in September is just stuck in my brain. 

Sometimes I'm tempted to make a go of things by myself, not remembering that I can trust others to cluster around me - like these imaginal cells do. I am truly grateful to cluster with other “imaginal cells” and really BE the change - to tip that scale from the old caterpillar to the new butterfly being formed. 

If we see ourselves as imaginal discs working to build the butterfly of a better world, we will understand that we are launching a new ‘genome’ of values and practices to replace that of the current unsustainable system. We will also see how important it is to link with each other in the effort, to recognize how many different kinds of imaginal cells it will take to build a butterfly with all its capabilities and colors.
– Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D., evolution biologist, lecturer and author of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution
So that’s me, or what I strive to be: a pile of goo with new possibilities, clustering with others to change. Care to jump in the goo too?


  1. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos Rebecca. We have milkweed and yet couldn't find a catapillar! Sept. always seems like a new start to me also even though I don't have kids going to school anymore. I think it's because we get back to "routine" and get back to church more often and so become connected with our church family again. -Sharon B

  2. Sharon: if we find another caterpillar, I'll deliver it to your door!