I have always been a dreamer. Dreams have not come to me in a long time. That’s why yesterday was so wonderful. I had gone for a walk with the dogs in one of our favorite hiking places, the Settlement Quarry. It’s on Oceanville Road where my friend Zuzu lives. So after the walk, I decided to drop by her house for a quick hello. (Zuzu is one of my two friends who delivered Loolie & Hershey back to North Carolina on the very day I returned from India.)
Zuzu has a thing for butterflies. Everywhere you rest your eyes in her home they will land on a visual of the winged creatures. Of course, if you’ve been following this blog, you know how butterflies played a magical part in the unfolding of Scott’s journey, too. While sitting with her in her charming butterfly-filled parlor, I told Zuzu how I once attended a shamanic dream circle at Esalen soon after my father died several years before I met Scott. At that time, I was being plagued by nightmares and one of the dreamers at the workshop–Jenny Noble– bestowed a dream on me titled “The Queen of the Butterflies” as a way of protecting myself from night terrors. In Jenny’s shamanic dream I was instructed to visualize my canopy bed completely enveloped by overlapping butterflies with outstretched wings that would hang down as curtains and surround me in their beauty, protecting me while I slept in peace. Recalling that experience yesterday to my friend shifted something in my being.
I explained to my friend how much dreaming had been a part of my life and how much trouble I was having in remembering any dreams now. Before I left Zuzu’s house, she had bestowed one of her most beautiful framed butterflies on me as a gift.When I got home I looked for a wall to hang it on. My canopy bed has traveled with me from NYC to LA to Maine. It was painted white-on-white by my friends Keith & David when I was a designer living in NYC. It has a white linen ‘crumbcatcher’ overhead and used to have white curtain sides…until I moved in with Scott. Yes, Scott added color to my life. So much fun and so much color and texture and love.
With his playful and discerning eye, Scott thought we should place the bed in a corner using a wall as one side and then he hung richly colored silk and velvet curtains from its 2 two exposed sides. The multi-colored ‘walls’ enclose the bed as a room-within-a-room and the interior corner walls are hung with art that only the sleeper can see. It’s a magical sleeping chamber fit for a queen. I decided to hang Zuzu’s butterfly inside. It works nicely with the art on the walls inside and also, a beautiful hand made prayer flag that my friend Maureen gave me last week which I had hung from the inside upper bars over the bed. The flags are inscribed with the words Be the change you want to see in the world. And they also have butterflies painted in gold leaf on the gossamer silk flags.
Later that night I decided to sleep in this magic cocoon that is usually reserved for guests.
Before I fell asleep I spoke to Scott as I always do. Out loud I asked him to have patience with me for not moving more quickly through my grief. Oh dear Scott…I know you told me,’Don’t spend too much time mourning me, darling.’ I am getting there slowly and I am trying so hard to move through the pain and get on with my life. Please understand that. I hugged my pillow as I fell asleep.
Last night I caught a dream. I was seeing all of the flowers that I have recently planted out in my Anniversary Garden. But I was seeing them from a much different perspective, up close and personal. The sun was shining and bright bursts of color exploded before my eyes. I woke up several times in the night only to fall asleep again and immediately re-enter the flower garden dream. I recognized each flowering plant I had planted. Wow! Those little blue lavender buds! Oh my–those pink balls of phlox! Woo-hoo! I feel so happy! I see colors and beauty and oh my my oh my my…
It was only in calling Zuzu this morning to thank her for the framed butterfly gift and share this dream with her that I suddenly realized why the flowers looked the way that they did in my dream: I was seeing them through the eyes of a butterfly as I flew over and around the garden.
Queen of the Butterflies, indeed.