This summer was one of the strangest of my life; there’s really no other way to describe it. It started out normally enough, but through a series of surprises, twists, turns and a few medical tests thrown in for good measure, I found myself in the office of a Shaman.
Before I could even tell him my reason for being there(which I wasn’t entirely clear on myself), he said to me,”You are in the midst of a deconstruction period, a time of tremendous transformation. Life as you know it is ending, so the life you truly want to lead can be born.”
What followed this meeting was a chronic injury being healed seemingly instantaneously, and a two week span in which I walked around feeling as though I was straddling two worlds. Or to be blunt: I felt stoned, even though I hadn’t smoked, eaten or otherwise ingested anything unusual.
During this time I decided Iwould embark on carving an “Ambitious Piece of Jewelry” in an effort to keep myself focused, and grounded in the present.
The piece in question was a ring I’d been fantasizing about for two years, but had put off making until my carving skills caught with my idea. I first saw the Art Nouveau era masterpiece by Lucien Gaillard while poking around the Tadema Gallery website (one of my favorite haunts). It is a gold, aquamarine and diamond vision with a dragonfly on one side of the ring and a scattering of flowers on the other. I knew I eventually had to attempt my own homage.
I don’t remember a great deal about carving my version: it almost feels channeled. I do remember when the time came to start blocking out the dragonfly I thought, “Maybe it should be a butterfly instead.”
Soon after I wandered outside and six butterflies landed on a bush in front of me. The decision was made.
Butterfly is such a powerful symbol of transformation and accepting change with grace and trust. I can only imagine the torment these creatures go through in turning themselves from a caterpillar in to a butterfly.
One of the last times I spoke to the Shaman he said, “So you’re leaving the world you knew before. It may all appear as if it’s the same, but trust me it’s not. Trust the shift and you will experience worlds that most people can’t even dream of, let alone experience.”
We all have the opportunity to change our lives for the better, in some way, at any given moment. And in some cases, if we’re not doing what we should, Life will take over and do the changing for us. I am the first to admit that the prospect of change scares the hell out of me. But little by little I am learning to trust. And looking at this ring reminds me that change can bring such unforeseen beauty. Just ask a butterfly.