Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.
Transformation. That’s what Living Resources Brain Injury Services are all about. When a person experiences a brain injury, their life is inevitably changed. Their path to establishing a meaningful post-injury “new normal” is similar to that of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.
Our Brain Injury Services program was recently gifted with seven Monarch butterfly caterpillars and a book about their life cycle. A group of participants watched with keen interest as the caterpillars grew, formed their chrysalises, and emerged as butterflies. When the first butterfly emerged, she clung to her chrysalis. Her wings were wrinkled and seemingly small for the job they had to do. There was great commotion among the group. They communicated tremendous excitement and a more than a little concern for the helpless creature. They asked, “Is it OK?” “Is it going to be able to fly?” With time and hard work from the butterfly, and patience from its caretakers, the insect’s wings filled in, straightened out, and hardened, but the question remained- would they work? There was only one way to find out. The group moved outside to the building’s gazebo, watched the butterfly and waited for her to try them out.
The butterfly climbed onto the offered fingers of a staff and clung on for a while, not quite ready for flight. This gave all the participants a chance to have an up-close and personal experience with the majestic creature. Pam Lake, a celebrated artist carefully noted its colors and patterns, taking in the iridescent blue of its legs with fascination. To Susie’s delight, the butterfly climbed onto her outstretched hand where it stayed for a few more moments before summoning up the courage to take flight. When it found a gust of wind and departed, it was celebrated with cheers, clapping, and tears of joy. Zach, who asked for his photo to be taken with the winged creature said, “I thought that was incredible!” Pam, who intends to create a painting of the monarch said, “It was so beautiful! I was so glad that i was part of it.”
The butterfly’s experience was similar to many in the Brain Injury program. Like our participants, she emerged from her chrysalis feeling different than she did when she entered. Everything she knew before was gone and she had to learn a whole new way of life. This lesson didn’t come easily. It took much hard work, courage and perseverance.
Living Resources Brain injury participants embody the quote, “Though I regret how I got here, I like where I am today and I look forward to where I’ll be tomorrow.” Perhaps this is a lesson they helped teach their butterfly. The group wishes the butterflies well on their journey. More than anything, they want their winged counterparts to be happy.
Quick video of the butterfly being taken out of its enclosure https://youtu.be/2lPgNP2hZ44