On this middle day, of a three day weekend, I enjoyed one of my favorite activities…puttering in my garden. More than a play day, I had several tasks to accomplish today, as I took advantage of an afternoon without rain. And I had one meaningful task awaiting me, as a special butterfly came home.
Thanks to Greg and his truck, fresh mulch arrived in the garden this morning. I love spreading aromatic cedar chips around the plants. It’s good for the plants, as it helps to hold moisture in and keeps weeds at bay, and it’s good for me. The smell reminds me of fun times with my family at Branson’s Silver Dollar City, where cedar is a signature scent. And I feel very accomplished as I tuck the mulch into place. The garden is looking great!
As I puttered in the garden throughout the day, I savored my time outdoors, and took breaks when I got too warm. I hung the metal letters that spell out my word for 2014, BEYOND. I cleaned up a section on the north side of the yard, in preparation for a new fence going in there. I sorted through and tossed empty plant containers that I won’t resuse.
And Greg helped me hang a metal butterfly on the side of the workshop. This work of art has been hanging on an outside wall of the Arkansas house for at least 30 years. Greg’s dad had attached it with a nail and I was going to leave it on that house. I am so accustomed to the butterfly being there, that I rarely even notice it any more.
However, during Joplin’s five year anniversary of the tornado, butterflies appeared all over the city, symbols of hope and transformation. I wanted a butterfly for my garden, to remind me of Joplin’s recovery. And as a reminder that the butterfly was one of my symbols several years ago, representing my own metamorphosis.
As I mused aloud about my desire to have a butterfly in the garden, Greg recalled the black and yellow one in Arkansas. I realized how perfect it was. The piece is designed for use outdoors, accomplishes the memorial desires that I had, AND reminds me as well of Bob and Leta Moore and my stepdad, Max.
Because he made that butterfly for my in-laws. My stepfather was a creative man, who found a multitude of outlets for his artistic abilities. He made many of these metal butterflies, painting them different colors, and giving them away. Max passed away almost 11 years.
I love, absolutely treasure, how momentos from so many family members have found their way into my backyard paradise. Rather than finding that peculiar or morbid, I receive great joy in seeing these keepsakes, and thinking about the people connected to them.
I’m so glad that this symbol of hope, beauty and change came home to my garden. The Arkansas house is about to close. I became aware of the butterfly’s presence again just in time. That doesn’t surprise me one bit.