Life’s rhythms

By Paulo Coelho

The Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis tells how, as a child, he found a cocoon attached to a tree and saw that the butterfly inside the cocoon was just preparing to emerge. He waited for some time, but because the process seemed so long drawn out, he decided to speed things up. He began to warm the cocoon with his breath. However, when the butterfly did finally emerge, its wings were still stuck together, and it died a short time afterwards.
‘What it required was patient ripening by the sun, and I could not wait,’ says Kazantzakis. ‘Even now, that small corpse is one of the greatest weights I have on my conscience. But it taught me what is truly a mortal sin: to force the great laws of the universe. We must be patient and wait for the right moment and gladly follow the rhythm God has chosen for our life.’

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