by Treven Treece
"Some people say that miracles do not exist. Today, I witnessed one. To watch a butterfly spread its wings and fly, from my very own hand, was breathtaking. This moment was captured right before she flew to freedom. Believe it or not, miracles happen every day. In fact, you are one. Every moment we breathe, and every moment our hearts beat - that is a miracle. Learn to see the miracle you are, and the miracles nature blesses us with every day."
Butterflies are one of the most beautiful creatures in all of nature. They fly so effortlessly and freely. Their various patterns, shades, and colors captivate our minds. However, what many people do not realize is how much transition these stunning creatures go through. They do not just wake up, spread their wings, and fly. They begin life as minuscule eggs. After some time, the eggs hatch. What emerges from these eggs are tiny caterpillars. They crawl on their bellies and roam all around the earth, striving not to be eaten or crushed. As they mature, they grow bigger and stronger. They gain skills and knowledge that are essential to survival. In time, they find a place to wrap themselves into a chrysalis – which is a magnificent process. This is a point of self-isolation for these creatures. In this stage of life, they change exponentially. After much strife and strain, these tiny caterpillars transform into magnificent butterflies.
Much like butterflies, we too evolve. Every day we experience change. For some it is taking that first breath of life, for others it is taking that last breath before death. Parents reminisce on how awe-inspiring it was for them to witness the first time their children spoke or took their first steps. However, it seems like milestones are always accompanied by trials. I am facing both at this moment in my life. The quote at the beginning of this article describes how I felt as I watched a butterfly fly from my hand. What I did not mention is that this creature was in a box. When the time came for me to open the box, it did not move. I wondered if I crushed it, or if it died due to a lack of oxygen. But, at the last minute, it started flapping its wings. It took some seconds for it to gain its strength to fly. It bled and released its fluids. Once this happened, it took flight into this big world.
I am about to spread my wings and fly into this world as well. I am on the verge of graduation. I have a job lined up, but I am still anxious about the unknown. I have many questions. Where will I go afterward? What will I do with my life? Will I be successful? The questions could go on for eternity. I have been protected by this notional box (i.e. my mother, teachers, professors, mentors, the education system, etc.). However, this box is opening up very soon. I know I have the ability to fly – to be extremely successful in what I do. I just need to prove it to myself. The only way I can fly is by being ready when that box opens. I know I will be nervous, uncomfortable, exposed, and often times alone. But this is my time to fly – to see new places, make new friends, and impact lives in a positive way. Someone out there is waiting for me. They are waiting for me to make a difference in their life. I hope I fly with the majesty and gracefulness of the butterfly that I released. Despite the transitions, trials, and uncertainty of life, miracles still happen every day. I am a miracle. You are a miracle. Learn to see and embrace the miracle that you truly are.
Treven Treece will be taking flight on May 6 when he hatches from The University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies degree. He will leave Memphis next month to begin serving as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. We appreciate him sharing his journey with us and wish him many everyday miracles as he soars off to new horizons!