Back in Shakespearean times the word “die” was a pun synonamous with ejaculate. And indeed it is true – the death of millions of big headed swimmers is imminent.
Can you imagine? Entering the vaginal canal like a crowded high school hallway after summertime dismissal - everyone rambunctious and jockeying for a front position. Pushing onward, upward through the small cervical opening, moving into the cavernous space of the uterus. Could hope be the propelling force behind the determined sperm? Searching in the dark. If sperm could see would this dark space resemble our galaxy? A huge sphere floating in space. Would it be down fallopian tube A or B? Guided by a sense beyond our comprehension they swim faster, pushing harder, a race against all odds. Timing is essential. The winner of this prize is not the first to find the egg. Once the treasure is found hundreds die releasing an enzyme that will break down the outer membrane of the ovum. The winner of this lottery must arrive at the perfect time, in the perfect place to penetrate the barrier. Then the lucky winner dies too. Sacrificing life as a single celled sperm to become something much greater.
It begins there in the darkness. This darkness devours everything that resembles anything. A space of infinite potential but where nothing is. Have you ever been there? A complete breakdown of your reality. I have been there. Broken pavement embedded in my knees as I pounded the ground in protest against the twist of fate that landed my life in shambles. When carpet was pulled out from under my feet and the floor proceeded to crumble away leaving me to fall, arms flailing. Where the only safe place was my bed. My only friend a bottle of wine. My only wish to not wake up. I pulled the darkness close to me like a shroud protecting me from the judgment of others who I thought couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through. Afraid to let anyone close fearing they could catch my depression or catch on to my self loathing. My mind racing over the tracks that continuously played “What if …” “How could…. “ “ What if …” “How could…” “What if …” “ How could…” The inevitable complaint “It’s not fair” rising up like a speed bump before the race ended with an exhausted “Why?”.
I heard an interview on NPR with a scientist who documented the daily metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly. Have you ever thought about what occurs in the chrysalis? I hadn’t thought much about it – I assumed that the caterpillar just changed. I figured their body shrunk, developed a different fuzz for coverage and some wings sprouted out of their back. Voila – butterfly. It doesn’t work that way. This disciplined researcher sliced a chrysalis open daily. He found that the caterpillar completely disappears. The worm-like body completely breaks down – degenerating in to a state of mush. The caterpillar was most likely happy enough being a caterpillar. Do you think they have awareness as they spin the silky strands of their cocoon that it will also become their coffin? Do you think it is painful for the caterpillar? Will the butterfly have any memory of a former life? What it was like to crawl instead of fly?
This is the magic of metamorphosis. It happens in the darkness. The darkness of the womb. The darkness of the chrysalis. The darkness of your life. With it comes the death of all that doesn’t serve your highest good. Allow your being to be juiced. Allow your tears to fall freely. Seeds do not sprout under the harsh light of the sun. It is the wet black earth that nurtures the potential for one thing to become something else. Will you surrender completely to becoming greater than you can imagine on your own? In the darkness do not despair. Know that God really does care. Like the cells in the cocoon. Like the baby in the womb. The intelligence is beyond the mind. The organization is divine.