It’s Just That Everything Changed

I think I’ve come down off the intense high I was on when I got home from Alaska, but it still seems tricky to write about what I experienced. I’ll give it a try.

I gave myself plenty of room in my suitcases to be able to bring things home from Alaska. But the best stuff I bought home wasn’t in my suitcase. It was in me.

As we flew from Seattle to Anchorage in a completely full plane, I turned on my music about 45 minutes from landing. I’ve mentioned elsewhere how much I enjoy listening to my music on shuffle. It’s like the fun of listening to the radio as a teen but with all songs that I like and the ability to skip one if I like. Anyway, I noticed as we were coming closer to landing that a song called “Little Butterfly” had begun to play.

IMG_4545
Photo credit: Meeee
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Photo credit: Also meeee and my iPhone

Someone had told me that flying into Anchorage means flying over water until the very last minute. She said she always is afraid the plane is going to land in the water. So, I was expecting to be over water until the last minute. Didn’t know how beautiful it was going to be.

So, “Little Butterfly.” It’s a song about the transformation that a caterpillar undergoes in becoming a butterfly. Some favorite lines:

I have lived all alone in a world without light.
I have lived in a cell without bars, without sight.
While longing for meadows, and fields full of flowers,
Pain and confusion have filled lonely hours.

A whisper was there each time that I cried,
Saying, “Don’t give up, child, keep hope alive.”
Hope seemed a thing as distant and far
as the most distant galaxy, the most distant star.

I don’t know how many readers will click on the link and listen to this beautiful song, but here it is. 

The entire song is about growth and rebirth. I was going to Alaska knowing that I was ready for growth and rebirth. I was so tired and really needed something. As we came closer to landing, Jana sang:

When my friends now, they call my new name,
And I smile at the promise that my new name brings.
They call me, “Little Mariposa” “Little Butterfly”
And my heart takes wing.

The wheels touched the runway at the exact second she sang the word Mariposa. I was thrilled with the serendipity, but the best was definitely yet to come.

Full lyrics for the song:

Esther Alvarado, Ginger Baker, Jana Stanfield
(with an excerpt from “Butterfly” by Joyce Rouse and Jana Stanfield)

I have lived all alone in a world without light.
I have lived in a cell without bars, without sight.
While longing for meadows, and fields full of flowers,
Pain and confusion have filled lonely hours.
I have wanted to fly, to soar over green fields,
But the hard shell around me would not crack, would not yield.
I felt bound to the earth, wrapped in ribbons of steal,
It hurt when I hoped, it hurt when I’d feel.

Yet even as I yearned so much for release,
Something inside spoke softly of peace.
A whisper was there each time that I cried,
Saying, “Don’t give up, child, keep hope alive.”
Hope seemed a thing as distant and far
as the most distant galaxy, the most distant star.
I did not believe I would ever be free
of the heavy cocoon covering me.

Then slowly, so slowly, came a glimmer of light,
It scared me a t first, this first bit of sight.
There were others around me. Why had they come?
Why had they entered my dark, lonely home?
And then, one by one, they reached out a hand
and lifted the ribbons of steel, strand by strand.
When their hands touched the ribbons, the steel fell away,
And I began to feel different in this lightness of day.

They smiled, they rejoiced, and I heard a song,
One that had played in my heart all along,
These are the words the song sings to me,
This is what it says:

“I can feel a change is coming, I can feel it in my skin
I can feel myself outgrowing, This life I’ve been living in
And I’m afraid, afraid of change,
Butterfly, please tell me again, I’m gonna be all right”

And I know, I know, I’m going to be all right.
And I know, I know, I will take flight.
When my friends now, they call my new name,
And I smile at the promise that my new name brings.
They call me, “Little Mariposa” “Little Butterfly”
And my heart takes wing.

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