1. A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.
This is the dictionary definition for miracle. And although it holds the words “divine” and “welcome”, I’m not sure if it truly stands for what I consider a miracle to be. Or perhaps the definition itself seems too vague or does not evoke the true feelings of what it feels like to experience a miracle!
Being a kindergarten teacher has definitely shown me that miracles can happen just about everyday. Whether a child finishes reading a book for the first time or learns how to do multiplication (yep, some of my students actually do! Amazing, huh?), I’m constantly given the opportunity to share a learning experience that feels nothing short of well…a miracle!
As I’m constantly teaching new things to my students, whether were learning about the Nazca Lines in Peru, or the fact that only 5% of the ocean has been explored, you can become slightly jaded about what you know and fail to recognize how amazing some things in life really are.
Most recently, my classroom bought one of those butterfly kits, where you send for the caterpillars and then you watch them go through their metamorphosis from larva to butterfly. I read the famous Eric Carle book to the children about “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, but had never myself seen the whole metamorphosis process happen.
When we first got the caterpillars, I’m not going to lie, a true “ick” factor was running through my mind, but the teacher in me turned my “Oh my gosh, they’re so gross and buggy!” into “Wow! Aren’t these cool?!”. And it’s true, the caterpillars were small and prickly looking and hardly anything to “Oooo” and “Ahhh” over. Then of course, they turned themselves into a chrysalis (*note of geekery: a chrysalis is a butterfly, a cocoon is a moth!) which was less icky, but still somewhat gross.
Then, on the last day of school (before summer began), the chrysalis’ broke open and two butterflies emerged. I’m not sure whether it was the fact that the butterflies decided to emerge on the last day of school, or the fact that these beautiful creatures came out, but either way, I felt like I had just witnessed a miracle! Aside from the fact that the whole butterfly transformation is absolutely phenomenal, the fact that it actually worked and took place inside our classroom is quite astonishing! The parents asked me if I had it planned out that the butterflies would emerge on the last day of school, and although I wish I was that good, my gaping mouth pretty much answered their questions!
I think for me, the most amazing part of the whole butterfly process was the fact that when the butterflies hatched out of their chrysalis’, they were completely changed! I mean obviously they look different, hence the term “metamorphosis”, but the idea that they truly did not carry any of their original traits (squiggly brownish, black bodies with prickly hairs) was befuddling.
When the butterflies emerged, I felt that child-like amazement of how magical some things in life really are. I think for once, I felt on the same level of wonderment as the children and it was refreshing to share that experience with them. Being attracted to elements in nature, I was inspired to paint some butterfly botanical prints. Butterflies will always now remind me of small miracles that add up to larger ones and how it’s important to recognize the significance in the tiniest of miracles.