Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The cocoon

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

The great Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis (“Zorba the Greek”) tells us that once when he was a boy he noticed a cocoon stuck to a tree, with a butterfly was about to be born. He waited a while, but it was taking so long, so he decided to warm the cocoon with his breath. The butterfly finally emerged but its wings were still stuck together and it died soon afterwards.

“I just couldn’t wait for the sun to complete the necessary process of patient maturation,” says Kazantzakis. “That small corpse is until this very day one of the heaviest burdens on my conscience. But that’s what made me understand what a true mortal sin is: trying to force the great laws of the universe. We have to have patience, wait for the right time and then follow confidently the rhythm that God has chosen for our lives.”

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