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My Home, My Cocoon

Updated on February 2, 2011

A Cocoon

A cocoon is a casing made by moths, butterflies and other insects, when they have reached the end of the larva stage and are entering into the pupa stage of their lives.  Cocoons are silk casings that protect the insect from the harsh elements of nature, while they are transformed.  It is said that the most beautiful butterflies emerge form the ugliest cocoons.

Swallow Tail Cocoon
Swallow Tail Cocoon

A Place of Change

A cocoon is a place of change, created by the insect.  It is also the only 'home' the insect will ever own.  Think about it a moment.

Before entering the cocoon, the insect was content to crawl around, eating.  Once it is in the cocoon, it will change from a fat worm to a thing of beauty.  In the cocoon, it gives up all of its old activities and ways of living.  Once it emerges, it takes on a whole new life.  One that it has never experienced before, but that its time in the cocoon has made it ready for.

Swallow Tail Butterfly
Swallow Tail Butterfly

The Struggle

When an insect finally emerges from its cocoon, it must struggle.  The cocoon does not break easily, and the insect must push hard to break the shell.  Then it must wiggle and squirm to get free of the cocoon.  This struggling is necessary for the insect to fully enter the next stage of its life.  Without the struggle, the wings of the insect will never develop.  It will never be free to fly.  Without the ability to fly, it will quickly die. 

If you have never seen an insect emerge from its cocoon, it is well worth the time.  To see it struggle, and tire, then try again, and finally free itself.  To see its wings unfold, in the most beautiful of colors, and then to dry.  To watch it gently fan those wings, as it tries out its new legs, and then, to take off into the spring sunshine.  It is worth the time.


My Home

Recently, I began to see that my home was very much like a cocoon. It protects me from the elements, it is warm and safe, and yet it has been a place of change. Some days, I do not even know myself. I am not the same person I was when I moved in here. I know that my husband feels the same way, and we are not alone.

Looking at the previous owners of this home, all have met great change. All have left it to start a new chapter in their lives.

The first owners lived here only a couple of years, before they retired. The next owners bought it for a place of business. During the time they owned it, they welcomed another child to their family, he changed careers, they moved into the home, while continuing to run the business, and when they moved on, it was for the reaching of long term goals and dreams.

Swallow Tail Caterpillar
Swallow Tail Caterpillar

Yet, I Wonder

I wonder if the insect ever really wanted to spin a cocoon?  Would it have rather continued in what it knew, pursuing the next leaf?  Does the insect like the cocoon it spins, even though it knows not how to make any other?  Or does the insect dream of its ideal home, with lots of room to move and grow?  If it had its ideal, would it ever change?  Would it ever emerge with the ability to fly?

As I think about the struggle of the butterfly, and the changes it undergoes, I am happy to be here. I am happy to struggle. I am happy to change. After all, who wants to remain a caterpillar?

Ivorwen, 2009.

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    • Tia Maria profile image

      Tia Maria 

      6 years ago

      I like the idea of a home being a cocoon, offering protection, warmth & safety while we go through a time of change. Fortunately humans have the freedom to enter and exit their cocoon whenever they feel like it. I especially like near the end where you wondered about the thought process of the creature and his cocoon. It makes me wonder as well.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Maybe, Craftsmith, but I think the things we understand when we are older are based on the things we ponder while young. At least for me, there is a long integration period, and I usually write about something about halfway through the process. :)

    • Craftsmith profile image


      8 years ago from India

      thats profound ivorwen..but as we grow older, we realize every word written her will come to us naturally :)

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      LiftedUp, thank you for your lovely comment and timely reminder. You are right about change being good, as long as it is for the better, but good or bad, it is still difficult to adjust to. Difficult, yet worth the trials.

    • LiftedUp profile image


      8 years ago from Plains of Colorado

      This is a beautiful hub, Ivorwen. I do not know that I ever thought of our home as a cocoon, but it is a very apt picture. And you are right, as long as we live, we change! A good thing too, at least if the change is for the better and not the worse.

      Thanks for including the photos, they are lovely, and I do not believe I had ever taken such a close look at a swallow tail cocoon before.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Much agreed, Phoenix. It amazes me that something as unassuming as a cocoon can offer such big lessons on life and living.

    • s0126phoenix profile image


      8 years ago

      i've always found it neat, that you can find solutions to life in such small, simple creatures. good info. thanks.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      LOL! All I can say is, "May you fly (with complete freedom) soon!"

    • ButterflyWings profile image


      8 years ago

      I do. They just find new ones.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Have you considered taking their sticks away? :)

    • ButterflyWings profile image


      8 years ago

      But Ivorwen, I *do* have children! And they poke. ;-)

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      It is wonderful when home is the safe haven that you can get away to.

      ButterflyWings, I suppose being in a terrarium is not so bad, as long as you do not have little boys poking at you with sticks. May you fly soon.

    • ButterflyWings profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a sweet article. I feel more about my home like I am a butterfly in a terrarium, but this, too, shall pass.

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Very nice. And I too feel this way about my home...a respite away from the world.

    • Ivorwen profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you Vladimir.

      Billie, I know it is not a new analogy, but it hit me in a completely different way today. Realizing that the home has to be a place of growth and change, as well as safety, was a new realization for me.


    • Raging Bull profile image

      Raging Bull 

      8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Nice one, a fitting analogy for life. I feel the same way, One's home is a sacred place of nurturing, preparing its inhabitants for flight into the world, emerging as beautiful butterflies.

      My family and I have always made our homes a place of nurture (a cocoon if you will).



    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      8 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Very interesting information.

      Thank you much.


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