What Does a Caterpillar Know?

Waiting while you
Flutter around
Trees, bushes,
Watching dark purple
Cone-shaped flowers on
Ends of bowing branches
Green leafed, spindly
Bush on this summer day.
I haven’t seen one like you,
Colors of a spotted leopard,
Orange, black, shimmering.
You land on a purple flower
Thin legs lifting, dancing a two-step
Your black, thin straw with a hinged section
Slides seamlessly in and out
Of individual flowers
Retrieving sweet nectar to
Fuel your fluttering flight.
How fragile, durable you are.
Vibrantly alive for this
Moment of feeding, not ever
to be crawling on the ground
Hungry for a chance to fly.
Does a caterpillar realize the
Butterfly is even possible?

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Laura Staley
Laura Staleyhttp://www.cherishyourworld.com
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately helps people thrive by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, mind, body, and soul. Laura knows that there’s a relationship between the conditions of our homes or workplaces and the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by almost two decades of working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to empower her clients to produce remarkable results in their lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes speaking, writing, and compassionate listening. As a columnist, Laura writes personal essays focused on self-discovery, feng shui, emotional health, and transformations from the inside out. Laura is the published author of three books: Live Inspired, Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui, and the Cherish Your World Gift Book of 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a fulltime parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include laughing with loved ones, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. She resides in Black Mountain, NC with lovable dog, Layla. Laura is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy


  1. Sometimes I wonder if it even matters that the caterpillar may not know or realize it’s destiny. Do they have a choice?
    As humans, we have a choice and I wonder how many of us refuse to become our butterfly. I wonder if I’m guilty of that at times.
    Thank you for challenging my (our) thoughts.

    • What a great question you’ve raised, John. No, I don’t think the caterpillar has a choice. Yes. Human beings can resist change, the unknown or surrender utterly to their evolution, The infant human baby is destined to become an adult human being-yet what kind of adult human being will that baby become? The power and pull of the inner world of agency, desires, values, and loves can be the fuel for the metamorphosis and many transformations that can take place in human development and evolution. That’s been part of my experience and I’m grateful to constantly remain open to the spirit world, the natural world, the contrasts of tensions that push my own evolution. I appreciate your reflections as I do believe some people fiercely resist change, their own growth inside the grit. It may seem too terrifying to surrender, to let go so completely to the liquid goo of disorientation and transitions. It’s not comfortable.