Sep 14, 2017


Chrysalides and a New School Year

Each Wednesday morning, Greene Street Friends School’s First through Eighth Graders gather for Meeting for Worship. A cherished tradition and link to our Quaker roots, Meeting for Worship invites students and all members of the GSFS community to sit in silence for half an hour, unless they are “moved to speak.” Feeling moved to speak might happen frequently or not at all during their time as students, but anyone may speak their truth when so moved.


During this week’s Meeting for Worship, Dean of Middle School Kiri Harris rose to reflect on chrysalides, change, and the beginning of a new school year that feels both the same and altogether different. Kiri offered to share her reflections with us, here, as well:


“My family has been lucky this year to find so many Monarch butterfly caterpillars in our garden. We put some in a habitat, and they've been munching away on milkweed. Soon, one attached, like an upside down question mark, and became a chrysalis. Now, we have seven chrysalides! 


I’ve never watched this process so “up close” before. In my mind, I picture a chrysalis as a messy thing, but these are smooth and shiny — like long, green acorns — and slightly translucent, so you can see wings forming inside. Whenever I look at them I’m just amazed. How can these caterpillars possibly know how to do this? 


I think my wonder at the caterpillars is exactly the reason I love school. Each year, we come back the same, but also changed. How does a first grader know how to be a second grader, or a fourth grader transform into a fifth grader? It fills me with wonder, every time.”