Parker Palmer, in his book A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life, quotes from a classic novel, the following:
In Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis tells a tale about the way some efforts to help can do real harm:
One morning ... I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree, just as the butterfly was making a hole in the case preparing to come out. I waited a while, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on 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 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 of the 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.
That 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.'
Parker J. Palmer. A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life (Kindle Locations 672-674). Kindle Edition.
All parents wound their children in some way, and grandparents probably do too. And it is quite often done in the name of “love”. At least we think it is love. Many times it is probably our own fears being projected on to you younger ones. I know quite often, if I had to choose, I would limit all of you four girls in many ways just because of my fears. I would want to “unfold your wings” for you in many kinds of ways and I would be wrong for that. So let me just ask for your forgiveness now, because I’m sure there will come a time when I will be impatient with the “eternal rhythm” of your life. And there may come a time when you have to forgive your parents for the same thing. Sometimes we all forget that you do not belong to us.
So may I have the patience to watch you spread your wings in your own timing and be given the great gift of watching you fly.