You Can “Fly”. . .

. . .but “that” cocoon has got to go!

A true story:


How often do we all stay grounded, or stuck, to some old idea, fear or relationship; simply because we don’t know we can get free?    We’ve imagined our limitations, perceived notions of impossibility; when all along we were actually free, and could choose to fly at any moment. 

I’d like to share a very special, true story.  This is the first time I’ve actually shared this story in writing.  At the time, our minister, Stan Hampson, strongly suggested that I send it to the organization’s magazine.

I’ve searched the Internet many times, looking for a replica of a poster that I remember very well, from the early 1970’s.  This illustrated poster had a butterfly and a cocoon image, and included this quote:  “You Can Fly, But That Cocoon Has Got To Go“.

In 1973-74, I was living on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.  As a member of the Unity Church, on Diamond Head, I also taught a 5th and 6th grade Sunday School class.  The name of our lesson, on that day, was: “You Can Fly, But That Cocoon Has Got To Go“.

The weather on Diamond Head that morning was beautiful, so when I entered the second story classroom, I opened the screen-less window.  I can still remember soft breezes, plumeria fragrance in the air, and a simply perfect tropical temperature.

All of the kids began to arrive, and we gathered around our large, but short round table.  We sat on the carpeted floor.  Easing into our lesson, I lifted the poster up to share the large butterfly and cocoon image, and then I read the quote out loud.  As I began to read the words, suddenly, a bird perched itself on our window sill, drawing our attention away from my carefully prepared lesson.

For the rest of the hour, everything became quite spontaneous, and we began talking about our winged visitor, as the bird literally hopped down from the window and on to our table.  The little creature was unafraid, and we all wondered why it couldn’t fly.

As it hopped about, we talked about what the quote meant to each child, in between giggles and comments about our new friend.  The little bird seemed to feel very much at home with us, and of course, this made the time pass quickly.

As we neared the end of our lesson together, we all expressed our concern about what we should do with the bird; but, just before the class ended, our little bird flew to the window sill, and off into the sky.

We were all very surprised, and spiritually charged, as it seemed that this hour had provided one of the better lessons that any of us could have planned or imagined.

I hope that you’ve read my short story to the end, and if you have, you can imagine the child-like wonder of it all.  The kids and I were delighted to share this experience, to learn that our perceived notions of “our bird’s” limitation, perhaps an injury to its wing, was in fact, only “our” perception.  Our visitor was free to fly at will, uninjured.  Somehow it found its way to us that morning; perhaps a God Gift, a Miracle, or just Serendipity.

Namaste’ sharon