Once upon a time I was wandering through the aisles of a lively farmer’s market when I saw wood and wire cages filled with butterflies flitting around stalks of flowers. She was selling butterfly cocoons. Each cocoon was about an inch long and spring green. It looked like the caterpillars had just wrapped leaves around themselves to form their tiny sleeping bags suspended by a thread from the ceiling of these triangular paper boxes. I bought one and brought it home to my spouse. We would check on it each day for signs that its slumber had ended, and on July 31st, our beautiful baby butterfly was born. Its wings were wet and curled when it hatched, but they flared out to the proper shape as they dried.
We had scouted out the perfect place to release it. There was an old Victorian-style sorority house with the bright clumps of colorful flowers and shrubs all over the garden. We thought our baby butterfly was sure to have plenty of succulent nectar to choose from. Carefully opening its paper wrappings, we gave it the sky. It flew higher and higher, then flew straight into a lamppost, dropped several feet as we gasped before it righted itself and flew out of sight.
When Writers In Training (WIT) talked about symbols for our group, the caterpillar was an obvious choice. We are slogging our way through obstacle course of leaves and twigs and trying not to let the critics devour us completely before we make our way into the sky. To hit a lamppost, then fall, then fly again. We are Writers in Transformation as we meet every week to hone each other’s skills, challenge each other’s worldbuilding, character development and dialogue. We have given our Word of Tenacity that we will write, complete, edit and publish. This website documents our journey as we take flight.
– H.R. Ryder