NATURAL WONDER by Joyce Martin Perz November 2015
Sphinx emerged from a tiny translucent egg clinging to the underside of a leaf. She began her miraculous life as a green caterpillar in a sunny desert garden.
Sphinx was delighted to discover her garden was a veritable banquet of succulent leaves and tender buds that she devoured before they had a chance to bloom.
She grew quickly and became so stout that when a strong wind shook the branch she was clinging too, even her five pair of grasping appendages were not enough to keep Sphinx from falling.
She fell to the ground. Unhurt, Sphinx rested in the soft soil. “A nap would be lovely,” she thought and wrapped herself in a snug covering of her own making before falling into a deep sleep.
In her dreams, she hovered above her garden and watched the seasons change. Snow transformed everything she had known.
One frost-free morning, she stretched and yawned. “My wings are stiff and uncomfortably,” she thought. “Wings?” Her eyes flew open, “Surely I am still in dream time. Wings would be of no use to a caterpillar without the slightest notion of how to fly.”
And yet, as she continued to stretch and wriggle, pushing her way out of the winter covering, she had to accept the self she had known was transformed.
She emerged from the dry pupa on the earth and began her new life as Moth, with wings and delicate antenna atop her head. Moth shivered. The muscles in her wings began to warm and she discovered it was not only her body that had changed.
“I long to fly and see the garden from above, as I once did in my dreams,” she thought.
“When the buds open, I will wait and drink nectar from the flowers.”
“The sun is too bright,” she thought and waited for dusk before she flew to Datura and Queen-of-the-night cactus flowers to sip their sweet nectar.
Moth’s memories of life as a caterpillar faded, except for a translucent green egg in her dreams.