If I had a blog, today I would write about my reflections on the Purple Thistle.
It is fitting that my Photo-of-the-Day should be a thistle because today is my Scottish sister-in-law’s birthday. Sine (pronounced Sheena) is the quintessential Scot: Ginger-haired, strong-willed, and passionate about the creatures and humans she calls family. I was thinking about Sine on my walk this afternoon, when I noticed a Great-Spangled Fritillary dining on the sweet nectar of this Scottish emblem. As I studied the tableau, I saw something quite extraordinary: Although the spots on a fritillary are white, this lovely lady wore flashes of thistle-purple where the color of the flower reflected on her delicate wings. Given the weekend past, I desperately hoped this synchronicity might hold a message for me during a difficult time.
As I face the passing years and see the ones I love grow towards the ends of their lives, I have days when the future seems quite foreboding. This past weekend was particularly hard and on several occasions the tears came and I had no power to hold them in check. I tried to rally my fledgling faith in the goodness of The Universe, in the hope that when I need the strength to face the end of all things, I will find the resources I need to carry on, but this time it eluded me and I ached with sadness. Sine and her family were here to celebrate several of our September birthdays over the weekend, but my emotional pain became physical and I was in bed for two days with a migraine headache. Everyone in the family expressed their concern, and their love for me, but it wasn’t until today that I saw the second layer of meaning in their kindness and support.
Watching the purple glow shine through the wings of a humble butterfly, I realized that is what family can do for us: When we cannot generate the light of hope within ourselves, we can bask in the glow cast by those who are able to carry on. If we can ignore our foolish pride and reach out in times of distress, we will find what we need radiating from the spirits of those who love us best.
Happy Birthday Sine! Thank you for letting me share your light.