There’s a very good reason the butterfly is the sigil for Morgan’s Wonderland and The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland. Think of its life cycle. A butterfly starts out as a caterpillar, trying to make its way in the world. Then it builds a cocoon for itself so it can stay safe as it grows. When it’s ready, it emerges from the cocoon, spreads its wings, and flies away as its truest self.
It’s a good metaphor for the mission of the park and the school. Give children and families a place where they are safe. A place where they’re included. A place where they can grow into the people we know they can be.
And it’s been my honor to see all of that in action.
Over the last few months, I’ve been working with Nikki on various projects for the park (where she’s Entertainment Director) and the school (where she’s the arts teacher). I was at Morgan’s Wonderland to enjoy their Spring Break entertainment.
I was at the Institute of Texan Cultures to see Texas, our Texas, an art show by the students of the Academy.
I was at Morgan’s Wonderland for Hand in Hand, the annual fashion show that brings Academy students together with their friends at TMI.
I was there again to celebrate the park’s fifth birthday.
And I was there, one more time, for the Academy’s latest play, a musical adaptation of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Yes. You read that right. I wrote a musical.
In the writing, I had to reframe a classic story in a modern pop context. It was quite a challenge, as most new experiences are. But it was a hit. The parents loved it, and the students had a great time. And that counts for a lot.
And again, The Very Hungry Caterpillar proved one more example of why Morgan’s Wonderland exists. Why the Academy exists. Why we do what we do.
You can’t devote so much time and energy into helping others grow, and not grow yourself. It’s impossible. And working with these students and teachers, watching the students strive and leap and fly, and knowing that you’re a part of it, is an experience almost beyond words. It’s something you really have to experience for yourself.
And I hope you get the chance to take part in it.
So, many thanks to the teachers, staff and students at the Academy, and everyone at Morgan’s Wonderland, for letting me into the family. I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.
And thanks to you, readers, for following along with me. Until the next stop, “be seeing you…”