There is something totally miraculous going on inside my home right now, and I want to share. A few weeks ago a good friend and neighbor of mine told me about a little project their family does at the end of the summer. With the help and expertise of her sister-in-law, their family collects monarch butterfly eggs, caterpillars and milkweed and brings it all home for super-close observation, right on their kitchen counter. Cool huh?! When she told me about this awesome adventure I told her that I wanted to play! So, on Wednesday we became proud owners of monarch butterfly caterpillars! It has been so amazing to watch this metamorphosis up close and personal!
For the first few days of caterpillar raising we have watched a lot of chomping and chewing of the milkweed plants. These little grubs have grown rapidly. Be warned: Because they eat so much, they poop a lot! They are also quite the escape artists. We have kept fresh milkweed to help keep them interested in sticking around their food source, but sometimes they pull a Houdini. We have been able to keep 4 of the 5 of them reigned in and we are hoping that the other little guy has just gone off to be alone and will surprise us in the next few days and appear as something bigger and better. As caterpillars they have been pretty entertaining and busy, but yesterday the most amazing thing happened! One of our 4 little guys became a chrysalis. I wish I had a high speed camera and could share my own video, but here is a great shot of what one of our caterpillars did yesterday (up to the point of chrysalis) and what the rest of them will do in the next day or two.
Can you even believe how amazing that it? It is so incredible to watch it up close!
I loved it when my 6 year old daughter ran up the stairs last night and yelled, “We have a chrysalis!” When I saw what that little creature had become in less than 6 hours I was completely blown away. It had started its phase of complete change. This whole creature will soon be something totally new and different. As I went to sleep last night the miracle of metamorphosis and change was on my mind.
Mosiah 27:24-26 says,
“Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, must be born: yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters; And thus they become new creatures.”
Today this scripture reminded me that a miracle even greater than a monarch butterfly can take place in my home. I have some really big changes that I want to make in my life right now. They are changes that are essential to my life and my family. I do not always know or understand how to shed my old self, and become this new creature, but I do know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ these significant changes can and will happen. He will lead me and guide me as I desire change. Today my bishop shared a thought in church that was really timely. He said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ is about change. Christ gives us the opportunity to become something that we could never become on our own.”
I am grateful to be having this experience with these tiny miraculous creatures. I am honored to be witnessing their metamorphosis. It is such a miracle! But there is a miracle that is happening inside my home that is much greater, and that miracle is a change in me.
Here are some more awesome butterfly videos:
This is a great view of a monarch emerging.
Butterfly Farming – This is a really interesting video. These are not monarchs, but still amazing!
And if you have Netflix and want to learn more about monarch butterflies, this is a pretty great documentary.