Lessons from a displaced butterfly.

By | 2018-04-07T23:19:12-04:00 August 13th, 2017|accessories, animals, anxiety, anxiety disorder, anxiety relief, cars, civil rights, earth, gratitude, hate crime, immigration, inspiration, Liberty, Life, mental health, musical theater, parenthood, parenting, racism, sadness, strangers, stress relief, teenager, teenagers, teens, victim|

I must confess that it has been difficult to write in the last couple months because of the instability, unrest, fear, ugliness, uncertainty and more, that has been plaguing our great nation. Some might say “that’s the perfect time to write”, while others will say “I totally get it.” I simply continued to remind myself, that I tend to write when the story comes to me, and thankfully today it has. It’s not the story I intended to write about, but sometimes those are the ones that need telling.

I had pulled up to the dorm at Carnegie Mellon University, where my oldest son had just finished a Pre-college Drama program. Everyone had to be packed and out by 2pm, because the incoming students would be arriving shortly. I’m blissful in my “mommy-van” because my baby is coming home. There are lots of happy parents and families milling about, weepy teenagers sad to be leaving their newly made friends and surely sad to be giving up some newly found independence while they are whisked back in to the bosom of their family. A car pulls up behind me on the steep driveway of the dorm, it’s a mom and daughter, picking up a family member, too. I hop out to make sure there’s enough clearance for the trunk to open, and I immediately notice what looks like a big butterfly accessory pinned to the grill of this woman’s car. My first reaction is “Oh wow, another person who loves butterflies, and so much so that she didn’t hesitate pinning one to the front of her vehicle, right near the not-quite-peace-sign looking emblem announcing the make of her car!”

butterfly

Displaced butterfly

I quickly realized it wasn’t an accessory, but an actual butterfly that had gotten caught on the grill at some point during her drive. I walked over to the woman behind the wheel and motioned for her to open her window. With a smile, I told her that the most beautiful butterfly had gotten caught on the front of her car and that I wanted to take a picture of it before I tried to move it. I wasn’t asking permission, but just wanted to make sure she knew what I was doing, but also because I wanted to share my wonder of this creature. At this point, it occurred to me that this was not in fact another butterfly lover, this was a person who could care less about the beauty and delicate nature of such a creature pinned to her fancy schmancy car. You know how I know this? If someone came up to my car window and told me there was a butterfly stuck to my vehicle, I would have jumped out to see it and to see if I could help the butterfly. This woman seemed more annoyed than anything.  I proceeded to take the picture of the butterfly and promptly walked right back to her window and made her look at it, then I told her I was going to try and remove it. Her reaction was formulaic with a “how sad” kind of awwww, and then a tacit approval of my wanting to save the insect.

I wasn’t sure if the butterfly was still alive frankly, but even if it wasn’t, this person didn’t deserve to have such beauty on her vehicle. I gently managed to pry the insect off the car, and moved it to some foliage nearby.

butterfly

Butterfly found

I waited. I watched. At first I thought it was the breeze causing the butterfly’s wings to flutter, but after a moment, it was clear this butterfly was still alive and now safe.

So many different morals I could pull from this event, that lasted all of five minutes mind you, but will surely stay with me for a long time to come. I guess the supremely important lesson, and yes, I use supremely intentionally, is that it is up to us to keep watch for those who are oppressed, and in need of protection and care, and not only must we stand up for those creatures and stand with them, we must make sure that their oppressors are forced to look and see the object of their hate and ignorance. It may not impact their hateful views, but it will at least let them know that we are not afraid and we will not back down.

Hug your loved ones today, and hey, maybe even a stranger (ask permission first, of course.)

Stay well.

 

My kind of immigration reform!

By | 2018-04-07T23:21:56-04:00 September 27th, 2015|anxiety, anxiety relief, ballet, children, immigration, Life, nyc, parenting, stress, stress relief|

This is not intended to be a political statement, but it is kind of difficult to talk about immigrants and immigration without it turning into some kind of my side/your side discussion. This is just me and my observation of the world around me, and occasionally I witness moments that are truly special and act as  a reminder of how lucky we are to live where we live and have the opportunities we have. The Pope was just in New York and the energy in the city was frenetic but happy, and it was cool to hear this holy man’s messages of peace and acceptance. The Pope talked about immigration and immigrants, and sent the message “Never be ashamed,” to the immigrants in this country. This rang through my head as I watched an adorable young Asian girl and most likely her father, head towards me on the sidewalk. They were animated as they walked, the little girl’s hair wound tightly in a bun, probably on her way to ballet class. When they passed by me, I overheard a piece of their conservation that kept me smiling all morning. The father, in a very thick Asian accent, was repeating the word “professional.” He was clearly struggling to get the pronunciation right, and his daughter continued to smile and encourage him, while she restated the word in perfect English. Professional. Think about that image for a minute, and write the narrative with me. Clearly immigrants from some Asian country, this little girl is lucky enough to have the gift of at least two languages, her native one, and now English, as well. She is using that gift to help her father, take command of the English language, just like she has. That’s what this land of opportunity is all about! It’s not about building walls and keeping people away, it’s about breaking down barriers so we can all learn from each other! Next time you’re on a street corner, take a moment and listen to all the languages that pass you by. Find gratitude that we live in a country where people can be celebrated and supported for their differences, and not punished for sounding or looking different. Find gratitude that we live in a country where so many only dream of getting to one day, and applaud the many who have managed to make it here and call the United States home.  
Sidewalk Talk and Totems!

Kenkode Imasu.

If you would like to talk to a Totem, they understand all languages, visit our store  www.totemtamers.com/store!