It is hard to believe that Eric Carle, the author of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” died this week at the age of 91. He also authored the “Brown Bear” series among others, opening up the world of reading to so many curious minds. My children are getting older and yet every once in a while, they still request a visit to the pages of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” We’ve memorized the book, know which food is eaten on which day and certainly can explain what happens at the end. But no matter. We all gasp and breathe a sigh of wonder when the caterpillar transforms into the beautiful butterfly.
Eric Carle once said, “Caterpillar is a book of hope: you, too, can grow up and grow wings.” Perhaps, this is the reason parents, teachers, and caregivers choose to reread this story. We all need reminders that our wings are just waiting to emerge. We can choose to let others determine our fate or give unnecessary space to the insecure voices pushing to be heard. Or, we can hope. Putting faith in our own transformation.
Viktor Frankl teaches, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Knowing that we hold the capacity to grow even in ways that seem impossible. Eicha reminds us, “God’s kindness is renewed every morning; great is God’s faith in us.” God knows we can grow; we just need to have faith in ourselves. Faith that our wings will sprout, and our inner magnificence will know no bounds.
There’s a butterfly waiting to emerge from every cocoon.
So too, there is a spark waiting to be ignited in every human soul.
“You, too, can grow up and grow wings.”
In partnership with The Jewish Journal, you can also find Rabbi Guzik’s blog post HERE.