Some months ago, I was in the midst of a self-growth journey that involved me crossing sea and ocean and living with upwards to twenty-five cats. It’s a long story that I’ll get more into later, but one early Spring night I had the most unusual dream.
I saw a tall oak tree before me, and winding endlessly around it was a massive, hairy, yellow caterpillar. It was a striking image that roused me right out of my sleep. When I managed to get a signal on my cell phone later that day, I turned on my internet data and immediately Googled the symbology behind caterpillars.
I usually don’t put too much stock into those dictionaries that tell you what your dreams represent. I sort of believe that dreams are beyond meaning, and that to analyze one logically is paradoxical to the experience. However, what I read about caterpillars on various websites (some of which looked like they hadn’t been updated since the advent of the internet) resonated with me anyhow, so I’ll share it with you now:
Caterpillars, and butterflies for that matter, are powerful symbols of growth, change, and metamorphosis. Since caterpillars eventually become butterflies, the appearance of a giant one is an anomaly or paradox. To my waking self, it signified a thing in my life, whether it was a mindset, a belief, a relationship, or habit that needed to metamorphosize before it became something destructive.
It’s funny, because almost every time I see a little caterpillar crawling up a tree or through the grass, I think back on that alarming dream. I remind myself that, like my many-legged friends, I still have a lot of growing to do.