The Power of Breaking Free

THE POWER OF BREAKING FREE
by Michael T. Smith

When my son, Justin was four, he found a caterpillar and out it in a jar. Each day he fed it fresh grass and leaves. In a few weeks the caterpillar was fat and ready to sleep. One morning we discovered the caterpillar wrapped in a cocoon. It hung from the top of the jar, an example of one of nature’s wonders.

Justin was excited. To him, it was like Christmas. He knew a moth or butterfly was about to be born, but he didn’t know what kind. He was curious to know what gift nature was about to give him.

“Dad!” he ran to me one day. “Something’s happening. Come see!”

He led me to his room. The cocoon had become translucent. We could clearly see the wings of the unborn. A few days later, a beautiful black moth broke free from its silky cage and began to lay eggs on the blades of grass in the jar, completing the life cycle of the little caterpillar.

The next day, I convinced my young son it was time to set the moth free. He took it outside, opened the jar, and the little moth flew out. It circled the yard twice, came back, and landed on Justin’s arm. He picked up, tossed it in the air, and the moth repeated its flight pattern. He tried over and over to set it free, but each time it would return to his arm.

Justin gave up. He returned his little pet to the jar. The next day he attempted to set it free again, and after a few return flights to his arm, the moth finally flew off into the tall grass.

Like a person, I believe the moth was afraid to leave what was comfortable. It wanted to stay with something familiar, scared to move on and experience new things.

I was once that little moth. My cocoon was my mother’s love. I was comfortable wrapped in it. Like the moth, I didn’t want to fly too far from it. My first job required me to move to a new city. I resisted. I was afraid. What would I find there? I liked where I was.

Many times in my life, I have faced a move and resisted. Humans are creatures of habit. We resist change. However, if I hadn’t moved, I would not have experienced many new and wonderful things. I also would not have met many of my friends.

The moves have been between cites, provinces, states, and even countries. Each move gave me the opportunity to learn and experience, but best of all, I met friends. I hated leaving my old friends behind, but when I think about it, I didn’t lose them.

They’re still my friends. I talk to them regularly. However, I have even more friends now.

I’m glad I found my wings, because I met you, my friend.

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