Excerpt from “Zorba the Greek”
By Nikos Kazantzakis
I remembered one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree, just as a butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out.
I waited a while, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed in 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 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.
The 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 eternal rhythm.
CHILDHOOD is a journey, not a race.