Caterpillars More Likely to Vomit Alone
I didn’t make up the title to this post. Here’s the article it headlined.
Most of us think we’re caterpillars. Give us just a few more months, or years, or longer, we believe, and we will morph into the gorgeous butterfly we were meant to be. Most of us are wrong. We stay caterpillars until that voracious red, red robin comes bob,bob, bobbin’ along.
A few of us – a very few – manage to make it to our inner butterflies and fly to the heights. Albert Einstein was an indifferent student in secondary school. L. Frank Baum was a failure at most everything he tried until he wrote the first Oz book. US Grant toiled in obscurity until the Civil War. In the mid 1930’s an obscure WWI corporal seized a broken Germany by the neck and took it to the heights of lightning quick conquest before plunging it into the hideous depths of mass death and devastation on his midnight, misshapen butterfly wings.
Some of us almost make it. We survive long enough to spin our chrysalis only to be plucked out and eaten by the outrageous fortunes of life. John Edwards was certain he would be President; now he’s staring at the prospect of being just another federal convict. OJ seemed destined to be one of the brightest lights in the pantheon of gridiron heroes. Meredith Wilson, the creator of the fabulously successful Broadway musical the Music Man, could never repeat his success.
But being a lowly caterpillar isn’t so bad. Each of us has our own little patch of grass or tree limb. Our worlds may be small but we know them well. The leaves may not taste the best, but they are plentiful. Our lives may be perilously earthbound and mundane. We will die without earning those gossamer wings. But, then, butterflies have so much farther to fall when they lose theirs…
Images (top to bottom) by Ron de Boom and Craig Elliott , both subject to this creative commons license
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