In partnership with the William B Ogden Free Library, The Uplands Center offered a free art workshop for community members in recovery from substance use disorder. Focusing on the incredible metamorphosis of monarch butterflies, guests reflected on their own recovery transformation. After learning about the multi-generational journey that monarchs take to arrive in upstate NY, involving trust, intuition, and determination, they contemplated the path that their ancestors walked that led them to where they are today.
Claudia Sabino, an art therapist, led the group through a watercolor session in which butterfly-shaped paper was painted upon and mounted on wall hanging. Attendees also had the opportunity to write a letter to themselves, to be mailed 2 months later, describing what intentions they are setting for themselves and what future they envision.
After the art workshop was completed, The Uplands’ Environmental Director led the group on a nature walk. They discovered milkweed growing on the property which is a vital food source and habitat for monarchs, and discussed further the life cycle of the butterflies. Ending at a vista overlooking the rolling hills, the guests set an intention while holding milkweed seeds, thinking about all the potential that seeds represent. They then released the seeds into the wind.
It was an honor to stand in community with these folks, who are bravely navigating such a challenging journey—folks who are creating new patterns, healing old wounds, and leaning into transformation.