As I sat this evening, sipping hot tea, I considered what to write about. I have projects and stories in the unfolding process. I am not ready to post about those. Possibilities came to mind, and as I did an inward check about each one, I glanced down into my cup of tea…and there I found my inspiration.
The cup I most frequently use for hot tea was a gift to me from my daughter Adriel. The glass mug has three butterflies etched on its sides. As I stared into the depths of my tea, the image of a butterfly appeared on the surface, shimmering amid ripples of reflected light.
I was enchanted. This is the second time I’ve seen a butterfly “floating” in my tea. The first time it happened, I was in the garden and the sun shining through the glass cast a shadow. Tonight I am snuggled beneath a soft blanket, with my cat Angel stretched out on my lap. It is very cold outside, and quite dark. The light from the overhead fixture is creating this dancing image and the accompanying sparkles of light.
Smiling over the simple beauty captured within my cup of rose hips tea, the word that rose within was Joy. After allowing myself several minutes to experience that joy, I checked inward for confirmation that this was my topic for tonight’s blog post. My smile broadened. It was.
Always one for going deeper into the moment, I checked the symbolism for butterflies. I know the winged beauties represent transformation and change. Was there a connection between the butterfly and joy?
Looking up butterfly symbolism, I was delighted to find that there is. I found that butterflies are considered magical. They represent spiritual rebirth and transformation, as I knew, and creativity, endless potential, vibrant joy, and the ability to experience the wonder of life. Butterflies also signify the presence of the Divine.
Another site mentioned that the Celtic people consider the butterfly a symbol of prosperity, honor, joy, and good fortune. To the Celts, they represent the soul. As one with very strong Celtic roots, this resonated deeply with me.
The information that I looked up confirmed what I “heard” in my mind as I stared at the butterfly shimmering in my tea…Joy. Vibrant joy, indeed.
And what about the kind of herbal tea I was drinking? Was there anything symbolic about the rose hips tea that was cradling my butterfly of joy? Roses typically represent love and relationships. However, I felt inspired to look up rose hips in my Life Changing Foods book, by Anthony William. Rose hips contain the most bioavailable form of vitamin C in existence. The vitamin C in rose hips is more anti-inflammatory than from any other source. It helps to boost the immune system and fights all types of infections. This is good! I have been drinking rose hips tea for about ten days now, enjoying a cup every afternoon or evening.
However, it was the section in the chapter on rose hips, under the header Spiritual Lesson, that touched my heart, and made my scalp and face tingle, Spirit’s signal to me that I am on the right track. Anthony writes,
“The fleeting beauty of roses gets a lot of attention. What about when the petals drop away? It isn’t cause for melancholy, or reflection on how we’re at the mercy of time- it’s cause for celebration. That big, showy fragrant blossom was just the invitation; the party really gets started once the rose fades and the flower’s fruit, the rose hip, begins to ripen. The same is true of people. Getting older isn’t a reason to mourn – our younger years are just the beginning. As we age and our experience grows, we gain our real value: fruitful wisdom that we can share and use to nourish each other. What else in your life are you writing off as an end, when really, it’s a beginning?”
I am undone by those words. In ten days I will have a milestone birthday. I will enter a new decade, one I used to consider the doorway to “old age”. Truthfully, I am okay with turning 60. I am healthy, and active, and full of vibrant joy. How amazing, though, and encouraging, to read this paragraph tonight and know that I am entering a fruitful stage of life, where I can share and nourish others.
What beautiful messages this evening, that began with looking into my cup of tea. I laughed as I considered that fortune tellers used to look into an empty cup and read tea leaves. No leaves in my cup, just rose hips tea and a dancing butterfly…and a sweet message that reminded me that this party, my celebration, is just getting started. How vibrantly joyful is that?