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The universe we live in is magical. As Tere Sievers pointed out, nature arranges itself with slight of hand. A caterpillar slowly becomes a monarch butterfly. The caterpillar transforms from something we usually pay little attention to. In fact, we often see it as something that strips the last green leaf, but somehow nature keeps in balance in the caterpillar`s metamorphosis.

The striped suit fat worm takes a two-week nap and emerges bedecked in the ballroom gown of the monarch butterfly ready to begin its dance. When we take time and are mindful of the relationships that exist in nature, even those we do not sense immediately, there is something sacred in that process. Humans join in those relationships even when we do not see them. There is a co-dependency shared, yet not fully sensed. We live in community and communicate with all nature’s phenomena.

Black antennas twitch

as the caterpillar

strips the last green leaf

from the naked milkweed.

Striped flesh shed,

the green skin below

becomes a jade pendant

rimmed with gold,

hung by a black thread.

Nature, that green magician,

arranges a slight of hand.

The fat worm in a striped suit

slides into its chrysalis

naps for a fortnight


draped in orange,

ready to dance.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

13 responses »

  1. Oh I love this and I love monarchs. I may have to use this some time. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  2. A beautiful description of how we relate to nature. I feel much the same way.

  3. I really really love this!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    If things in nature made noise then more would notice. Only when things are out of balance due to man’s activities do we notice.

    This morning my daughter and I had a discussion, she said she has been to the pharmacy many times but only today did they seem to recognize her. I had come from DMV and related my experience observing the clerks, not one looked into a customer’s eyes. In this busy life, unless you take time to make a connection, it will be as if you were never there. I told my daughter that to be recognized she should speak, “Good morning, and how are you today, Lilian?” Just by speaking and perhaps using the clerk’s name, she has put a wrinkle in their brain that will cause them to remember her.

    What a strange and marvelous world we live in! Have a wonderful day!

    • Thank you for a wonderful comment. I agree we need to take time, be present, and make authentic connections. Your suggestion of using the name tag is a great one.

      Take care Jackie.

  5. Beautiful poetry Ivon

  6. Pingback: 410. The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly. ~Ponce Denis Ècouchard Lebrun | Sacred Touches

  7. As I was walking up the path to my frontdoor today I saw a newly hatched baby bird laying there. I almost stepped on it! I looked up to see the mother Robin in her nest and knew that she must have thrown it out. Maybe it was dead or going to die. The poor baby had burst open upon hitting the paver below the nest. It was such a gruesome sight but at the same time I found it to be so beautiful and interesting. All of it’s guts were spilled out. They were all shiny and so wonderfully made. It’s eye’s were not yet open and it had such tiny little hairs on it’s back. It was so magnificent. So beautiful but so very sad.


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