Along with A Midsummer Nights Dream, 1984 and The Color Purple by Alice Walker, every child in school should study The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
The Hungry Caterpillar is an immensely deep book.
Given the depth of meaning – the deep truth embedded in the amply complex storyline – this book could prove indispensable to the future lives of children.
For years of reading this book I have missed the truth. In fact it only really dawned on me a few days ago when I was reading it to the Boy before he went to bed. This dawning was triggered when he pointed to the butterfly on the last page and said, “All those things the caterpillar ate have made the same colours on his wings.”
Oh. My. God. He was right. All those smelly half eaten gherkins, pieces of salami and that strangely tempting lollypop had morphed in the cocoon to create the colours of the butterfly’s wings.
This was epic.
Since that time I have been thinking loads about the The Hungry Caterpillar and what it is actually about. I’ve been thinking so hard that I reckon I could create an entire terms worth of school study plans. I mean, the most obvious message is “we are what we eat”, but if you take that deeper it can be applied to our lives on all levels …
You will reap what you sow.
What we put in will eventually come out.
As above, so below. (Alchemists seem to love this one).
What we focus on, we will become. (Very The Secret).
Truth, like oil in water will eventually surface (my mum used to say that when I was a teenager. At the time I was quite an artful parent blagger. Hearing the “truth/oil” saying still gives me the creeps).
In essence, what the Hungry Caterpillar can teach kids and adults everywhere is this; what you nourish yourself with today – emotionally, mentally, physically, materially, socially and spiritually – you will wear on your wings tomorrow.
This is so amazing.
I love it.
We are all lovely little hungry caterpillars and cocoons and butterflies all wrapped up into one. We are each constantly in a state of emergency, every day, every night. Individually, racially, globally we are in a state of becoming all the time and we can steer this emergence by what we choose to do, think, feel and say.
IT’S ALL A MASSIVE EMERGENCY!
So where am I going with this? Well, last spring time I drilled down into the theme of spring cleaning the inner world and creative dreams, for example Spruce Up Your Creative Dreams, Spring Clean Your Stories, Spring Clean Your Knots, and Spring Clean Your Subtle Energies.
(The reason why all those titles are all crimson and luscious is because they are tempting you to click on them and be whisked away to an article from 2010. Feel free to click and enjoy.)
This springy time, inspired by the Hungry Caterpillar – a.k.a. most unassuming esoteric masterpiece of biblotic proportions ever – I want to play with the theme of Emergency. After all, it’s kind of Springy as well, isn’t it?
I am going to search around, collect up some stuff and do my best to pull together some ideas, tools and explorations to help you (and me) to steer our Emergency so that we can make our lovliest wings unfold. Does that make sense? No. Well don’t worry. Just go and find a copy of The Hungry Caterpiller and read it several times, every night for three years just as I have had to. Then it will allllllll become clear.