“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
― Maya Angelou
My mother and I both have a deep love for flowers and gardening. I think a lot of her love “stems” from the fact that she is a master at creating flourishing landscapes. She can showcase the humble ground cover or moss and the most magnificent peony in a way that would sound like a symphony if it were to speak.
As an imperfectionist, I like having dirt under my nails. I like seeing the worms come out to play. I love what the flowers themselves call forth: the butterflies, the hummingbird and yes, even the destroyers…. the deer and rabbits. I love the miracle of a seed to a flower. I love the Earth.
That is one of our similarities and that we both make very loving and friendly drunks. Being Korean and having an allergy to wine, it only takes my mom one or two glasses before she is hugging everyone. Myself, it takes more like 3-4 (6) glasses, but for being a somewhat insular person,I have been known to talk to the doorman, the chauffeur at prom, the bus boy, and whomever is the oldest person present at any event where there is alcohol available longer than whomever I am attending the party with. I’ve had DEEP conversations with hired help back when I lived in NYC and restaurants had people to hand you a towel to dry your hands.
We have a lot of differences however, my mother and I. She is kind hearted and loving but once you cross her the wrong way,,,she is like that one icy patch in the yard, under the shade, with a slight spring under it that is the last piece of Earth to thaw out.
I like to think of myself as being more forgiving. Like the time she paid my children and niece and nephew when they were all under the age of 7 to collect butterflies for a dollar each. She ignored my request to stop paying them to intentionally hurt innocents, especially the magical butterfly! Of course she created a beautiful still life with the butterflies, and even feeling awful about the whole deal, I couldn’t be mad at my mom. Over the years, I have collected my own DEAD butterflies and Dragonflies.
For this year’s Imbolc gift I decided it was time to depart with some of my collection to the circle of women who color my life. While Thoreau might turn in his grave at how many chairs I squeeze in for friendship, I can’t imagine surviving the ugly parts of life without them. Because I have all my needs met, I deeply hurt for those who don’t. For those who are so burdened that even the simple beauty of the sunrise may be lost on them. For innocent children who may be too sick to see it from their beds. I do small things for these people. But honestly I give more of my energy into helping heal the healers, to be there for the true medicine men in my life, my teacher friends, my friend who heals with horses, my friends who nourish with their food. People who like myself who are good and when well-nourished spiritually can share that wealth of kindness even more.
While Thoreau might disagree with the number of friendships I try and maintain, I think he would like the meaning I receive from them. They are my constellation. They are the petals. They are the wings that lift me.
And so for each of them, a wing or a feather. Again all one needs in their life besides water, shelter, food and clothing is ETSY! the lockets themselves only run about $4 each, and yet make a sweet, meaningful gift when you put something in them.
I will say this. Life is short. Sudden loss is shocking and hard. But it happens to the best of us, it happens to ALL of us sooner or later, we loose what we love. So whether it be friend, lover, family… say thank you to those who nourish you. They might not be there tomorrow, and neither may you…..hopefully, like a caterpillar we transform into something even more beautiful after death. But since no one truly can know what happens, why not spend our time being kind to one another, in case the buddhist have it right?