CONFESSIONS OF A RELUCTANT CATERPILLAR
Notes from a pup tent cocoon by Mary Grigolia
I’m not big on camping. I’m a city girl. I like the idea of sleeping under the stars. But it’s the mosquitoes and twigs and pebbles and finding my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night that put me off. Oh, and the raccoons and skunks and ticks and burrs.
So I was surprised when a camping image intruded on my meditation. Or, my resistance to meditation. I had arrived at a meditation group half an hour early. I set up the room. Got water. Still twenty minutes until anyone got there. What should I do? Meditate was the obvious answer. Instead, I sat in my usual place and started to think about all the things on my to do list.
Some inexplicably wise part of my mind/heart/soul said, “Whoa! Do you really want to think about your email now?” And for good measure, threw in an image of tent stakes.
I followed the directions (a first for me) and constructed a little tent.
The metaphor hit home: Each item on my to do list was another stake, for defning and securing my safe little tent. Once in place (i.e., given sufficient attention), I climb right in. Moment and meditation forgotten; I’d be accomplishing something!
However, throughout the week, I could feel myself reaching for a stake, itching to retreat to my safe little tent.
A couple of days with this metaphor, I realized that the tent is really a cocoon. And I, a reluctant caterpillar.
Do I really intend to stay in this deceptively safe cocoon?
Are my creativity, courage and kindness really intended for me alone, in these narrow confines?
I know we all need to retreat and restore from time to time. And I know the time is coming to leave my cocoon. I trust that I have what I need to find or co-create the opening. And to trust myself to stretch my still-wet wings in the ever-evolving unknown and to fly.