Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time, a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen. Or maybe one that wasn't going to happen, does. (Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos, pg. 141)
I have been pursuing this pretty little butterfly, Isabella for the past week. Obviously camera-shy: every time I see her in the garden, she flutters away when I fetch my camera. This morning, however, she was inside the conservatory up on the roof. So there I was clambering up on chairs to try and capture a picture of Isabella (couldn’t climb on the glass table). She wasn’t very co-operative so early in the morning though. Later in the day once she had make-up on and preened her wings, she flew outside and perched on the side of the conservatory. Isabella allowed me to come right up close, while she posed for her photo. Thank you, Universe, for this little gift.
There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings. (Hodding Carter)
Tom has given me this gift in our marriage. He is my rock and stability, but has never tried to trim my wings. He has supported and encouraged my many endeavours, all of which meant they took my focus away from him and onto my ‘hobbies’.
I studied a dressmaking and pattern design course while pregnant with the twins.
I have performed in numerous productions over the years, which involves much time at rehearsals and time spent learning lines. Tom, poor man, has watched most of my performances (as have my long-suffering children!) including the panto last year, where I am told he was the noisiest heckler in the audience when Benjamin Black appeared on stage (thanks, Tom!).
I started my second degree later in life. It was a long, difficult journey, where along the way my ego and confidence took a battering from the harsh ‘crits’ –where you put your soul on the line in your artwork, only to have it questioned and sliced open. Our creativity was pushed beyond the boundaries. Every time we thought we had reached peak, we were broken down. Through all of this, Tom propped me up. He didn’t like much of the art I produced on this journey. But he gently coaxed my wings to flap again.
When I went to Findhorn last year with my special friend, Nicki, Tom encouraged the wings to flap (even though he thought I was off on a mumbo jumbo week!). My wings flapped and fluttered during this week. My spirits soared, I was alive!
The hardest journey I have ever had to make was leaving my family, friends and history back in South Africa when we moved here. Emotionally it has cost me a great deal. I have been a tiny, lonely creature. My wings have been folded and tucked away. Through all of this, Tom has been so very kind and supportive. He has indulged me. It has mostly just been Tom and I. He has had to endure my whims and chattering and unusual thought process and ways of seeing the world. He has cosseted me and coaxed my wings to unfold, a bit.
Thank you, Tom: for always believing in me and loving me and letting my wings flap.