Hope as antidote for suffering
Very few Monarch eggs survive to adulthood–mortality rates hover in the range of 90% or even higher! And still, the female Monarch lays new eggs every day–an average of 500 in her lifetime.
I’ve learned to respect Mother Nature’s ways, even when I don’t fully understand them. Even so, I do what I can to help offset those seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s how I’m wired, I guess. I’ve replaced our thirsty grass with drought-tolerant milkweed and nectar plants. I shield their nursery from weather extremes, and I guard against aphids and pesticide overspray, carried into my garden on ocean breezes.
Here, the story of Hope itself: struggles, persistence, endurance.
Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” We see this in our daily lives: hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, diseases, natural and man-made disasters. A microcosm of this truth is borne out everyday, in my little Monarch Waystation.
Because I’ve witnessed firsthand their potential for suffering, I appreciate each wriggling, hungry little caterpillar as a marvel unto itself.
Because I’ve wept over the sweeping losses caused by predators, I greet with joy each new chrysalis–perfectly shaped jewel boxes, housing secret transformations within.
And the metamorphosis of a microscopic, pearlescent egg into this Monarch butterfly? Nothing short of a miracle.