The Butterfly

A passage from one of my favourite books…

Zorba the Greek ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

Zorba the Greek
by Nikos Kazantzakis


I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the back of a tree just as a butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out. I waited awhile, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened; the butterfly started slowly crawling out, and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath, in vain.

It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.

That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the external rhythm.

~ Zorba the Greek
by Nikos Kazantzakis
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Zorba the Greek (Paperback)
by Nikos Kazantzakis
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Zorba The Greek (Amazon Instant Video)
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Actors: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas, Lila Kedrova, Sotiris Moustakas
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One Response to “The Butterfly”

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  1. Peter says:

    Ahhh, Staci . . . I know you well enough to understand what you mean by this. Yes, a little too early with this blog . . . the sun’s not quite shining on my chrysalis.

    Thanks for your insight as well as your patience :)

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