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Peace in a Pod

Here at Treargel, the garden is growing exponentially. This is amazing apart from the bits we don't want to grow, namely the hogweed, our nemesis!

Martyn in the Treargel garden, chopping down a tall hogweed plant.
Martyn attacking our hogweed

I am currently reading a short book, Chrysalis: The hidden transformation in the journey of faith by Alan Jamieson. I say reading, slowly consuming is perhaps more apt. Some books have to be savoured I find. It is a fascinating description of life and faith as a series of stages; using the wonderful analogy of the caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. As I am going through a series of life changes myself; swapping careers, looming menopause, teenagers flying nests, faith evolving, etc, there are so many aspects to this analogy I find illuminating.

Jamieson describes the caterpillars, consuming everything in their path, excited about life and moving forward. Like us, when we first decide what our passion, faith or vision of life is going to be. Happily munching through 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 cakes … (Oh sorry, that’s another book;). The caterpillar then, through some deep instinct, suddenly stops eating, attaches to a leaf, and makes itself into a chrysalis. Here it ceases to have a form as such and turns into goo (that's the technical term). For many of us, this seems like a backward motion. Formlessness and apparent death is not fruitful, it’s not ‘reaching’ anyone, and is not productive. It goes against our Western Protestant Work Ethic; to be sitting still, hiding in the dark, waiting for what? In my faith background, if you are not going forward then it is presumed you are backsliding, something that is very much frowned upon.

However, Jamieson points out;

‘The metamorphosis of the chrysalis, like the seed planted in the ground, is a process of both death and new life. The time of the chyrsalis is a tomb time: the time of cocooning before the miracle of new form. What is happening is a biological miracle’. (P51)
Our dog on the garden sofa asleep.