Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Morphing, Symbolism and Signs in Nature for Our Writing

A few days ago, I spotted a beautiful insect on my Puerto Rican grandmother's little wicker table that sits on my kitchen patio. I'd never seen anything like it. As I ran back inside to grab my cell phone to snap some photographs, I'd hoped it wouldn't fly away. My daughter's boyfriend told me what it was--a leopard moth.

Yesterday, I took a good look at this leopard moth and wondered if it was dead. It hadn't moved at all that I could see. So quiet and peaceful. I poked the moth lightly with my finger and it moved. What was it doing?

I wasn't sure if the insect was getting ready for something like morphing or coming to end of its life. I wondered if this lovely insect could fly at all. Perhaps it was injured or were its wings as decorative as the spots on its body, not really made for flying? The moth had moved to rest on a leaf of the pineapple top that I'm rooting in a glass of water last night. Maybe it was hungry. When I checked on the leopard moth this morning, it was gone. I was kinda sad and wished it well.

I love seeing and recognizing signs and symbolism in nature, so I thought about what this leopard moth might signify for me as a creative person. The ideas of morphing, change, rest, patience--the various stages of growth that the leopard moth had gone through resonated with me. It had morphed from caterpillar to chrysalis to moth. Quite a journey and here it was gracing my kitchen porch.

Over the last few years, I too have morphed as a woman, a writer and as an artist. At times, I'm crazy productive and other times, I've rested and gone inward. I've learned to preserve my creative energy and not burn out. I take breaks when I need them and if I need a week away from my novel or a painting, I take it--just because I'm not writing or have a paintbrush in hand doesn't mean I'm not being creative.

Much like this leopard moth, a lot is happening inside while I rest and am still. I may appear dormant at times, but I'm not dead! Rest and being still are an important stage in writing and being creative. I don't have huge swings of creativity aka I'm not up until all hours and then sleep for a week. But, I do listen to my mind and my body. I'm much more productive that way and I truly believe in things happening at the right time.

Timing is everything. One day soon, my first novel, A Decent Woman, is going to fly, fly, fly away like the leopard moth while at the same time, my second novel, Finding Gracia, is still in the caterpillar stage. I might feel sad to see my first novel go out into the world where I can no longer protect it, but my book is ready for that. I'm ready for that. My second novel is still where I can protect it and feed it dandelions until it morphs into another beautiful novel.

Peace and love to you,


  1. Love the symbolism. Having that novel published IS kind of like sending a child out into the world, isn't it? I hadn't thought of it in those terms before. BE STRONG, MOMMA!

  2. Thanks, Linda. It does feel like sending a child out into the world and I'm hanging in there :) Some days, I feel like a pregnant woman who is weeks past her due date and I want this baby birthed!! Ha ha! It's time :) Be well and Happy 4th! xx