Monday, September 24, 2012

The Butterfly Story

I've been reading Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and it is an amazing book. I first heard of it through references in a few of my meditation books. This is the story that is usually referenced -- the butterfly story:

I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the back of a tree just as a butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out. I waited awhile, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened; the butterfly started slowly crawling out, and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath, in vain.

It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.

That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the eternal rhythm.

Such a beautiful and delicate reminder that everything will happen in its own time. Patience is absolutely necessary for life. It's hard to wait; sometimes it feels like it's never going to happen. But then, sometimes, the sun is just right and your wings warm up and before you know it, you're on the ride of a lifetime.

We just have to remember -- Everything in its own time.

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