The Wind And The Chrysalis
by Justine Lucas Létourneau
I’m building a wall to seclude myself, thought the worm, so no one sees me like this.
Not yet, the worm said to itself everyday in the sanctuary of its chrysalis, not yet.
“You’ll have to come out someday!” said the gentle breeze.
“No I won’t!” said the worm.
The sun set and then it rose.
I’m building a wall to protect myself, thought the worm, from the painful words of judgement from the bullies and the brave.
I’m safe, the worm said to itself while fortifying its chrysalis, I’m safe.
“But the wall doesn’t keep you safe little worm,” said the breeze, “it just keeps you in.”
“No it doesn’t!” said the worm.
“Yes it does,” said the breeze, “and it keeps your inner judges in there with you.”
But the worm was no longer listening to its friend the breeze. The worm was too busy building its chrysalis, and fortifying it for extra strength.
The sun set and then it rose again.
I’m building a wall to prevent myself, thought the worm, from ever getting close to someone I might love again, so that they don’t become someone I might lose again.
I’m independent, said the worm to itself within the tough walls of its chrysalis, I’m independent.
“Little worm,” said the breeze, “you are alone in your chrysalis. No one can get in. This person you’re afraid of losing, well… you have already lost them. You have lost them because you refuse to meet them.”
“Exactly!” said the worm, and it went about its business, thinking little mean thoughts about itself: Whoever they are, they wouldn’t love me anyway. Whoever they are, they would leave and it would hurt. I’m better off alone. I’m better off alone.
The gentle breeze saw how much the little worm needed to be free from its own protection.
So the gentle breeze grew.
Until it was a big great thunderous harsh wind.
Then, the big wind blew.
It knocked over trees and snapped branches in half, and the chrysalis held on to the tree for dear life.
“Gentle breeze,” shouted the worm through the swirling sounds, “why are you trying to hurt me so?”
The breeze did not answer, for the breeze was gone. It was a big wind now, a big and mighty wind.
Finally, after many big and mighty breaths, the chrysalis popped off its branch, flew through the air, and hit a giant rock. The rock cracked the chrysalis shell, tearing down the little worm’s wall of protection and solitude. The worm kept its eyes shut tight, terrified of the torture to come. It missed the gentle breeze. And it missed the dark warm comfort of its hermit home.
The worm lay there, huddled on the rock, curled up into a little worm-ball, with its eyes shut tight, quivering in the cold of the wind.
The wind left.
The breeze returned, and it brought with it sunshine and birdsong. The scared little worm finally opened its eyes. The sun was blinding at first, but then there was… color!
Blue sky, green trees, yellow flowers.
And then… there was warmth. The warm sun kissed the cheek of the little worm, and the gentle breeze carefully unfolded its wings. For just as the breeze had turned into a big and mighty wind before, the worm had turned into a little butterfly.
The worm looked up at its wings and got spooked.
“What are those?” asked the worm.
“Those are your wings,” replied the breeze.
“What are they for?” asked the worm.
“Flying,” said the breeze.
“What’s… flying?” asked the worm, more curious than ever before.
But before it could ask any more questions, the gentle breeze picked up the little worm and pushed under its little wings, lifting it high into the great blue sky.
“But… Breeze,” said the worm, stopped in mid-flight, “Without my chrysalis, I am naked. How will I protect myself from the judgement of others?”
The breeze smiled at the worm and said “by flying!”
The breeze and the worm saw the world together.
The worm wasn’t quite ready,
It wasn’t completely safe,
And it wasn’t totally independent…
But it was free. And that was more.