• Brady Williams

[Wildlife/Sustainability] Cocoon of the Vagabond Butterfly

The year is 2020. The unification of chaos is a drug that I cannot swallow. But it will ultimately transform me into a butterfly. Original words by Brady Williams and personal photographs by Denholm Hewlett (credited)

An article in collaboration with our friends at The Map Collective - https://www.map-collective.com


As the next minute flows through our veins, we will lose 55 acres of rainforest. And by the end of today, 135 plant and animal species will finish their last day on Earth. In our present day situation, we are living through what Scientists around the world call "The Sixth Mass Extinction". On top of that, as weapons continue fall from the sky and viruses force our entire planet into lockdown, we find ourselves shaking with hands gripped and white knuckles clutching to the cold bars of a spinning species who lost sense.

Endangered African Wild Dog (2015) - Denholm Hewlett
Endangered East African Black Rhino (2015) - Denholm Hewlett

I hear the sound of Andean hummingbirds purring back to life and here in the sacred valley of Peru the flowers bloom and break into the sky and it seems a metamorphosis is stirring in the silence of our humanity in hibernation. Currently, Earth is in a lockdown. A cocooning of our people and a return of the dolphins to the canals of Venice. The sky filled with airplane cigarettes have now halted and NASA has reported a massive drop off in air pollution. We as a people have seen the unconscious spreading of the virus within us. The urge for consumption that has lead us to destroying our oceans, our forests, and the very air we drink from.

The world I sit in is quiet.

Eye of the Rhino (2015) - Denholm Hewlett
Wild African Elephant (2019) - Denholm Hewlett

The Living Blue Planet Report, just released by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, documents the extraordinary losses, which occurred from 1970 to 2012. Alarmingly, some fish species were found to have declined by almost 75 per cent.

Humphead Wrasse (2016) - Denholm Hewlett
Black Tip Shark (2016) - Photo By Denholm Hewlett

We are aware of the damage. As French painter, Paul Gaugin, so clearly stated, “I shut my eyes in order to see”. In many ways, the COVID19 pandemic has been a massive wake up call for humanity, demanding that we assess the damage we have inflicted on our majestic planet and the incredible range of fantastic and ancient animal species that we coexist with.

Endangered Cheetah (2015) - Denholm Hewlett
Eye of the Orphan Elephant (2015) - Denholm Hewlett

Before cocooning, the caterpillar consumes its environment to catastrophe and the civilisation of the caterpillar begins crashing. Cells commit suicide, the world as they once knew begins to shake from its core. As the pandemic roars through the caterpillar a wake up call is sparked within its body. Soon enough imaginal cells begin forming committees within the caterpillar. These imaginal cells are the visionaries of the civilisation, the ones who will propel the caterpillar to one day soar into the air and live as an unimagined spectacle. Something is cracking open, the seed of our humanity is rattling from its core and in that awakening is something new. The caterpillar of our humanity is charting its course in perfect time because our human collective has reached it’s maximum threshold of consumption on our leaf.

Could this be an invitation into a new human potential?

The imaginal cells of our humanity are waking up to analyse the chaos of our system. We are researching climate change, tracking our carbon footprint, designing clean energy & desalinisation systems to innovate the way we live sustainably on our planet. This cocooning of the virus is giving our species the time for the human membrane to evolve. Our nature is undergoing a wake up call and this is our metamorphosis. Stem Cell Biologist, Bruce Lipton PH.D states that “In typical behaviour, humans usually do not make change until circumstances force them to act. The global crises we face today is Nature’s wake-up call, the current destructive “caterpillar” version of civilisation must transform into a “new” sustainable organism, Humanity.”

“Is it crisis that invokes evolution?”

Wild Elephant (2019) - Denholm Hewlett

The seed has popped and this darkness is our process. Out of Earth’s history of 4.2 billion years we are just now cracking from our seedling selves. This is our moment to see our environment anew, create and wiggle our ways through the black soil into a new unimagined harmony of existence.

Visit WWF for more information about Endangered species and how you can help our Planet's wildlife ~ https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory