Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

This Wonderful Life

July 16, 2009

This Wonderful Life: The smallest things transform us


You and I know what’s coming, but maybe the caterpillar doesn’t. Certainly her caterpillar cohorts don’t, and they don’t understand her restlessness.

``Just shed that skin like always,’’ they tell her.

``You’ll get bigger and bigger. One day, we’ll be huge — the largest caterpillars to roam the land. We’ll devour mighty oaks in one chomp!’’

She’s not interested in that, though. She has this idea that things could be really different. Really different. So instead of shedding her skin for a new one that’s more or less the same, only larger, she builds herself a safe place to create something almost inconceivable.

Inside, everything breaks down. Literally. Her legs and antennae and her hungry little munching mouth all break down.

For all practical purposes, the caterpillar is dead — toast. Or, more accurately, soup. WhatÆs left is a formless ooze that contains the essence of what it means to be a caterpillar, which happens to be identical to the essence of what it means to be a butterfly.

Its absolutely not that remarkable. It happens every day. It may be happening just a few feet or yards from where you are sitting right now. But try telling that caterpillar how ordinary it is.

Try telling the butterfly that what happened to her was run-of-the-mill.

Fables are usually packed with a point, and this one is no different. The lesson here is that remarkable, unforeseeable change is both deeply meaningful and entirely achievable. Like growing up.

Elizabeth Trever Buchinger believes every child is capable of sprouting wings. You can connect with her at www.moremindfulfamily.

Text Only
This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009