In nature, the classic example of a caterpillar encapsulating itself in a cocoon and emerging a winged butterfly epitomizes metamorphosis. There is a shifting beauty in three distinct stages merging to form the developmental process of a single creature. Similar transformations are seen throughout the natural world, as water-dwelling tadpoles grow legs and become frogs, abandoned hayfields transition slowly into mature forests, and sedimentary rocks morph under pressure until their structure is entirely changed.
On a personal level, we experience such changes as we grow, develop, and become increasingly self-aware. Politically, governments and empires rise and fall, and communities constantly grow and adapt to changing circumstances. Entire belief systems can migrate with scientific paradigm shifts, such as when Einstein’s theory of relativity provided a new way of examining the universe beyond Newtonian physics.
Today, as human society faces the growing challenge of climate change, there is perhaps a need for a cultural shift to bring us into a more sustainable relationship with our natural environment. Like a desert exploding with color after the springtime rains, will we see rooftops and parking lots around the world blossom into gardens and green spaces? Like a seam of marble that has seen its composition scrambled by eons of intense force, will our society change its very nature in response to our current environmental pressures?
Volume 21 of Whole Terrain seeks provocative, insightful, and original explorations on the theme of Metamorphosis that encompass the full range and scope of environmental practice and exploration. We welcome essays, personal reflections, investigative journalism, short fiction, creative non-fiction, visual art, graphic novel excerpts, and poetry that examine any and all aspects of Metamorphosis. Prose submissions are limited to 2,000 words, and should be double-spaced with numbered pages and word count noted. Poetry submissions may include up to three separate poems. Electronic submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org are strongly encouraged.
The reading period for Metamorphosis ended December 31, 2013.