Program Notes: Season of butterflies highlights transformation

We never grow out of our sense of awe when witnessing life’s creations. Children and adults alike can appreciate and relate to the life cycle of a butterfly.

Watching the growth and development of butterflies is a regular feature of our spring programming. This year the interactive project occurred over a three week period at the Primo Center in Englewood, Believe Shelter of Margaret’s Village on the Southeast Side, Grace House on the West Side, and St. Martin’s House of Hope in Woodlawn.

Butterflies are a great symbol for transformation and spark wonderful discussions about honoring the changes life brings. From the outside, the cocoons may not look pretty, but something miraculous is happening inside. Participants often share with us that they identify with the struggles and beauty of this metamorphosis.

When we release the butterflies, it’s not always an easy, smooth task. The butterflies might have a difficult time adjusting to their newfound freedom; sometimes their wings even shake with fear.

Some butterflies are not as eager to leave their familiar surroundings, but participants offer encouragement and a helping hand because it’s easy to see themselves in these little creatures. Together, we all recognize that sometimes we fall and need to be patient with ourselves. We remind each other of the word “Bambelela,” to never give up.

Over the course of the project, we listen to music that reflects the process of healing and growth--songs like “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly, “Can’t Give Up Now” by Mary Mary, and “Black Butterfly” by Deniece Williams.

We all experience changes, on many different levels. Sometimes we feel stuck, or are unsure of what to do. Through our work at Harmony, Hope & Healing, we offer tools to our participants who are in transition and looking for ways to move forward; tools such as breathing, singing, playing an instrument, and enjoying interactive projects like this Butterfly Project.

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