My amazing friend, Cliff Trammell, is responsible for the idea behind the name, Wingdreamer! For my birthday in May of 2004, Cliff wrote the following story for me and read it out loud as we sat at his kitchen table. Tears began to trickle down my cheeks and met my smile as I realized that the story was about me!
So, here we are over 5 years later... Wingdreamer is no longer a caterpillar. She’s a beautiful butterfly who is taking flight and seeing her dreams come true!
The caterpillar crawled from her family’s tight web.
Hungry for life, she stuffed and shoved and fed.
Through mud and grass she crawled, happy just to be outside.
Then, she saw a butterfly and was not so satisfied.
When she saw the wings flitting, in white mountains amidst blue seas,
the mud was not so appealing, “There must be more for me!”
She saw the wings and so she dreamed: One day to fly, one day to soar
One day, up, Up, UP to the sky’s sun bathed shore!
Those who once were so close in the sticky family web
had all nearly vanished, some were even dead!
Some were plucked by the birds, others died from starvation.
Still others lay in pyres from a child’s bug cremation.
Though winds of change harshly blew and life’s losses assailed,
the caterpillar still believed that the dream would one day prevail.
She remembered the wings, and so she dreamed: One day to fly, one day to soar!
One day up, Up, UP to a cloud’s bleached white core!
Warm spring days had risen to near searing, blazing heat
and even the shade trees felt like sizzling asphalt streets.
“If I could fly away to the soft, to the clouds floating above with ease,
perhaps it would be cooler there; I’d find love in a gentle breeze.”
She crawled to a hive hanging in a tree believing,
“surely I will find some friends here who can help me fly freely.”
The bees, however, buzzed and hissed at her saying with vicious fury,
“Why are you up here? You’re wormy, earthy and dirty!”
The bees began to sting the caterpillar and fly into her face.
She fell antenna-long into an ant bed, disgraced,
and was gnawed and bitten with poison deep and searing.
The caterpillar almost drifted into deadly sleep, yet she struggled through the melee.
Off to the shade of a bush she drug her wounded body.
Neglected, misused, forlorn and abused, she stopped on a sprig, green and knobby.
Her body grew stiff, her legs now frozen.
Her eyes became heavy, “It must be the poison…”
She collapsed on the sprig in tears and felt she was going to die.
For one last time, shutting her eyes, she began dreaming of wings and sky.
“I tried to be strong, to keep going on, but I’ve suffered oh, so much loss.
I tried to be right, to keep up the fight, but the dream had too much cost.
I once thought I’d fly, I once thought I’d soar,
now it’s DOWN, Down, down to lay in earth forevermore.”
When she awoke something was different.
She tried to move but she couldn’t.
She felt quite stuck and kind of stiff,
“What’s this stuff wrapped ‘round where I can’t move or shift?
A spider must have come during the night!
He’s tied me up tightly for dinner tonight!
If he thinks he’ll take me easy, he’s in for a fight!
I may be bamboozled and all tied up, but I can still bite!”
“I fell through the branches; I crashed through the bees,
I sunk into an ant’s hill, full of poison and teeth.
I made it past birds and children’s glass jars.
Why I’ve nearly crawled the whole length of the yard!
How could I stop now within a web meant for dinner?
Today that spider will be left a little thinner!”
“For in a web I was born and from the web I squirmed free!
And this scheming web will be no different, he’ll see!
I am the caterpillar, earth crawler, Wing Dreamer.
Life may be mean, but I will be keener!
Though I may be far from home, I was born to reach the sky.
I will not stop here! I will live and not die!”
From the cocoon, not a web, she sprang into open winged flight.
Above the ants and the hive, she soared in the sun’s brilliant light.
Up higher in dazzling color she shined like a mid-day star.
Pains and fears of the past are at last drifting away, very far.
“The wind is my warrior now, my dreams won’t delay.
When ants and bees attack, I’ll spread my wings and fly away!”
She saw her wings and so she sang,
“This is the day! The day to fly!
The day to soar up, Up, UP to what’s above and more!”
Wings flapped and with one great swoop, she vanished into soaring heights of cotton.
While angry ants and boiling bees were left down below on the bottom.
A young crawling caterpillar looked and asked a friend munching nearby,
“Who is that flying so gracefully and freely in the sky?”
“Oh, a beautiful butterfly”, she answered with a sigh.
“Perhaps one day we too can fly so freely and so high.”
From the cocoon, open winged flight.
Out from darkness, will come the light.
The caterpillar realized that what seemed to kill, brought the ability to fly.
The way to soar in the heights was to first learn how to die.
It wasn’t about being strong or tough that brought the transformation.
Simply letting the change unfold from within, it stepped into resurrection.
Now, soaring high above mud, bees, ants and the dead,
The butterfly could have given up, but is glad she dreamed instead:
One day to fly, one day to soar.
One day--up, Up, UP filled with glory… high above earth’s shore.
Stories from the Cliff © Copyright 2004