I don’t have anything against caterpillars but I’m not sure I’d ever thought that they were lovable before last week. We’d met up with some friends in Peterborough for the day and when we saw Peter and decided that he was uni-pillar (because of his elegant blue horn) and noticed the adorable little waggling dance he was doing, I was a bit smitten, too.
Children are brilliant and helping us to see things in new ways.
Another thing that opened up our eyes was using a few cards from our Sneaky Cards pack. https://sneakycards.com It’s a hard concept to explain but it is a kind of interactive scavenger hunt game (pre Pokemon Go!) that challenges you to be a secret agent of joy. One of our cards suggested that we buy someone a coffee (and then give that person the card so that they are invited to do the same for someone else). As we walked around, looking for the right person to receive a free coffee, we were more alert to the people around us. The woman we chose was touched and it was fantastic to meet her. We met several other people using the cards that day.
It was a fun day and it was interesting to notice how the joy increased even more as we shifted our attention beyond ourselves.
When we got home, we searched the internet to find out what kind of caterpillar Pete was (he’d gone home with our friends). It turns out he was a Lime Hawk Moth and that the wiggling he’d been doing was a sign that he was ready to build a cocoon. Ooops. We probably should have left him where he was. I’m guessing he didn’t enjoy his trip to McDonalds, nor the leaves and water we offered him.
Though we thought Pete was amazing, we didn’t understand what was going on. (But we know for next time!)
Life brings us good days (like our day in Peterborough) as well as challenging ones and sometimes it is tricky to understand what is really going on. Since becoming a British citizen a couple of weeks ago, and what feels like increasingly scary world, I am even more conscious that I am also a citizen of God’s kingdom, where a deeper reality lies. When life is tough, it is sometimes possible to understand things differently, like a dark cocoon, or a push off of a cliff edge can be the beginning of learning to fly.