A butterfly story – of resilience and transformation

Kathy Krugerchange, China, red thread13 Comments

caterpillar-clip-art-15We all know the story of the hungry caterpillar that becomes a butterfly and you may be familiar with the rather sad tale of the silkworm that becomes a plain old moth (kinda disappointing after all that spinning).

The silkworm spins its finest silk cramped up in its cocoon only to NOT be able to fly away (because its moth body is too heavy for its wings).

Unfortunately most silkworms (the pupa stage of the adult moth) don’t make it out of their cocoons but are boiled alive (heat kills the worm while water makes the silk easier to unravel) so as not to damage the precious silk they’ve spun.

It’s all rather depressing, especially when you consider silkworms are domesticated solely for silk (although often the worm is also eaten, fried mostly) and cannot exist in the wild without their guaranteed diet of mulberry leaves, preferably the same old boring variety, consumed in huge quantities while in the larvae form.

Even the worms that do make it out as moths only live long enough to mate (in the male’s case) or lay the resulting thousands of eggs (in the female’s case).  Then its Sayanora or zài jiàn silk moth.


0_37417_7d1ae055_LYou’d think it would be a cautionary tale against changing, let alone even attempting transformation.

But during our visit to a silk factory in China I found a story of strength and resilience.

You can tell real silk because it burns and turns to carbon, while the fake fabric melts like plastic – we were given a demonstration.

We also found out about the silk worms that spin double cocoons. The silk extracted from these double cocoons is a mass of interlocked fibres, entwined so strongly together that it is virtually impossible to tear.

This is the silk they use to make quilts  – the fibres have a unique quality that keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter (I can vouch for this – we bought a quilt, vacuum-packed to fly home from China when we adopted Miss Yin, and then bought another on our adoption trip for Little Yang).image description

image descriptionI’m interested in how the twin silkworms gain strength from each other – alone their threads would be fine and beautiful, but breakable.  Enmeshed together, their threads are resilient, unbreakable.

The twin silkworms suffer the same sad fate as their singular siblings, but what they leave behind is something stronger than themselves.

I think of the lesson for us – that we are stronger when we support each other – that we don’t have to go through life alone, cosseted in solitude, trapped (mostly) by our own worries.

1395930000875963482vintage butterfly blue green no back 2 facing rightI well remember when Miss Yin was a baby, just home from China, and I would listen for her gentle breathing in the room next door – from orphan to much-loved daughter – life transforms in an instant.

I would think of our eternal connection to her parents thousands of miles away and imagine her cocooned forever in the love of two sets of parents. I’d ponder our shared dream for her transform into the beautiful butterfly that I know she’ll become.

I’d pull the silk quilt cover up over me, snuggle into Mr Yang, and drift off to sleep, happy.Transparent_Blue_and_Green_Deco_Butterfly_PNG_Clipart

We may not be strong enough to face some things on our own, but together we can be strong enough to face everything – even the often slow and difficult journey of transforming into the beautiful butterflies of our dreams.

So go transform – we’re in this together!

Linking up with Essentially Jess for another IBOT.

Tell me what does your butterfly look like – what would you transform about yourself and what would it take for you to change?




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Kathy KrugerA butterfly story – of resilience and transformation

13 Comments on “A butterfly story – of resilience and transformation”

  1. Pinky Poinker

    I had a shiver when I read this. Especially the part about the single thread is breakable but together unbreakable. Humans thrive on community in many ways. Not just family but in every way. It’s part of how we were made. Gorgeous, insightful post which I’m about to share as many ways as are available 🙂

  2. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me

    Oh that is a bit sad, the poor silkworms! I need to transform the way I think about myself, be a little kinder, gentler and I think I’m slowly in the process of changing, but sure it will happen more once the kids are bigger! x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      It is sad isn’t it – I guess the lesson is we always ‘lose’ something in order to gain something through transformation – but the poor old silk worms lose the lot.

  3. mummywifeme

    And what a beautiful butterfly your lovely daughter has become! I love the way your mind works, Kathy. You have an amazing ability to find deeper meaning and seek the positive in everything around you. If I could transform something about me it would be to worry less, not be so anxious, stop running around a hundred miles an hour. I am working on these things, but it is hard to change old habits. Visiting via #teamIBOT.

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Thanks Renee – she is beautiful for sure. I love looking for the deeper meaning and the metaphors in things – I wish I could be more positive (especially in self-talk), but I guess you have to start by looking for it all around – butterflies are probably everywhere if we stop to look!

  4. Tegan Churchill

    That’s sad that the silkworms create something so beautiful, and yet die soon after, unable to see the beauty of their work. I guess you could look at in the way that, like it the human life, shallow beauty fades so easily, but it is the strength of hard work and heart that is left to shine on long after the creator has passed.

  5. EssentiallyJess

    I love that you got the positive analogy! I was just kind of sad that that’s how we get silk! 🙂
    I like the idea of leaving bromide so etching stronger than ourselves. That’s a great way to approach life.

  6. homelifesimplified

    I admit I had no idea about silkworms. Really sad. But I love the strength of working together. Xx deb

  7. Pingback: Transitioning to…. | Yinyangmother

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