Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The life is like a butter-fly

By Kirsten Nour Namskau

I was sitting in the teacher’s room when Ayman came and peeped in the door. It was something in the expression in his face which took my attention, so I asked: “Is something wrong, Ayman? Is somebody bulling you?”
Ayman looked at all the teachers and said: “No, it’s better I don’t start, because everybody say that I shall not talk about it.”
Ayman was in level 2 primary school.
“You can talk to me about it.” I said “Whatever it is.”
I continue: “What is it you shall not talk about, Ayman?”
His class-teacher came up and said:” No, not again, Ayman. Get out and play.”
Ayman turned to go out, but I took his arm to hold him back and said to his teacher: “What is this about? What is it Ayman shall not talk about.”
“Oh,” his class-teacher said “his grand-dad has died and he wants to talk about it.”
She turned to Ayman and said: “Ayman, you grand-dad was old and sick. It was to the best for him to die. You shall not think more about it…. It’s better for you to go out and play.”
Ayman dried his eyes with dirty hands, leaving wet-dirty lines in his face. I draw Ayman closer to me and said: “ I can talk to you about the death of your grand-dad.”
“Oh miss. My hands are dirty and I touch your skirt…now it became dirty>”
“Ayman” I said: “ My skirt is not important, I’m more worried about you. Tell me Ayman, what is it you want to talk about?”
His class-teacher again started to say something, and I fast turned to her made a signal that she should “zip” her mouth.
I turned to Ayman again: “Tell me, Ayman”
Ayman started: “You see, my grand-dad is dead, and no one want to talk to me about it. They only say that it was to the best for grand-dad”
He continued: “ But you see, I don’t know what happens when one die, and that scares me. Because they put grand-dad in the ground and I’m worried about him, because it’s dark there and I am afraid for the dark.”
“I will tell you about the death, Ayman.” I said

“Did you know, that God has said: ”Whatever question one have about life and death, you can go to the nature and find the answer.”
I continue: “ Long time ago, I wondered about the death too, just like you. So I went out in the nature to find the answer. Can you guess where I found the answer, Ayman?”
I continue without waiting for answer: “ Yes, when I looked at the butterfly, I saw the answer of questions about life and death.

The life of a butterfly starts as a butterfly lay an egg under a leaf of a tree. Like a woman are pregnant with a child…. Inside the egg develops a larva which comes out from the egg… a child gets born. The larva lives on that particular tree its whole life and the food is the leaves on the tree. It doesn’t know about any other food and it believes that the tree is the whole world.
Like a human…. We live here on earth and don’t know about any other place we possible could live, and the food we eat, is the food we can find where we are on earth. “

I continued, now with all the teacher’s attention too: “ The larva eat and live what it feels is the best life one can have. It grows and gets bigger….but also older….. like human…we eat, grow and get older.
One day the larva starts to feel tired. It doesn’t really know why, but it feels tired, so it starts to make a cocoon. It’s like a sleeping-bag made of tiny threat from its saliva. So also with human….. as we grow older we get more and more tired and we know we maybe will need a longer ‘rest.’”

I continued: “ When the cocoon cover the larva completely it goes to rest. It doesn’t eat or crawl around any more. . . . . Inside the cocoon it now starts a process…… the larva dissolves and become only a drop of water. If you ever see a cocoon and pinch it so the drop of water comes out….it will never become a butterfly. But if you leave it……. Something start to evolve from the drop of water…… like when a human die…… we lay him or her in a coffin or wrap him or her in sheets. Some even burn the dead body, but it doesn’t matter. They may put the ashes in a pot or throw it out. If they throw it out, God will collect it and put it in a pot. Inside there, the human or the ashes slowly dissolves and turn into the most precious drop of oil in the universe. To be sure no one pinch it to take the drop of oil, we lay him /her in the ground. “

“One day, when what has developed inside the cocoon has grown and become so big so the cocoon starts to become too small, the cocoon cracks. Out from the cocoon comes a totally new creature, totally different from what went to sleep. It stretches its body and discovers that it even has got wings. It tries to fly, and discover that the world is so much more and so different from what it was before it went to sleep, so it believes it has come to a totally new world. And the food….. So much different kind of delicious food and drinks, nectar from different flowers has different taste. The larva really believes it has come to Paradise….. so also with the human…… from that one drop of oil starts to evolve something new and totally different. When it is ready and finished grown into this new state of what it has become, he/she leaves the place of burial…….”

I never come further in the story, because here the child takes over….also now, Ayman suddenly called out: “ And become an angle in Paradise!”
“Yes, Ayman” I said “That’s exactly what happens.”
(I always agree with the child here. Whatever ending the child suggests according to his/her culture and belief. Sometimes one become an angle, sometimes one gets reincarnated into another body another place on earth, become a flower or animal, sometime the child even suggest the oil become nourishment to many flowers and by that even ‘multiply’. Whatever the child suggest…is what is correct for that particular child.)
Ayman left the room with happy face. Now he was not afraid any more…… neither for grand-dad nor the death.


MrsJoseGoldbloom said...

Good job Kirsten...that was a beautiful explanation. I'll have to use that for my youngest son he's mad some comments after the passing of my sister last year. I can't believe the behavior of that other teacher, some people can be so cold it's scary.

Hammer said...

When my father came back from war, he was very attuned to death. He saw many of his friends die and actually saw the spirits leave their bodies.

Dad made sure that I understood death was not to be feared and our body is just a temporary shell.

Tink said...

A beautiful story Kirsten. Thanks for posting it.

Mrs_Who said...

I love that it's left to the child to explain what happens next...I think God is giving them the answer they need.

k said...

I'm with mrsjb there. That child is so fortunate you were there, after that other teacher treated him so coldly.

I love butterflies and moths. All of life. This was a wonderful story. Thank you for it.