A few nights ago, in honor of a child’s birth (mine, to be precise) a friend arrived to celebrate by taking me to dinner. Since she lives nearly an hour away I’d suggested she arrive early to beat some of the traffic, even though I wouldn’t be here when she arrived. When I did get home she said, “Amy Lou, a half hour alone in your house left me feeling like I’d walked a labyrinth.” Touched by the recognition of my home’s . . . what? Energy? Ambience? Peace? . . . I asked her to say more. “I walked around slowly and looked at everything,” she said.
It’s true that there is a lot to see here. What my friend experienced, though, isn’t just about the “things” themselves. It’s about someone (me) having found and seen each of them in a way that lets others see them also. Therein lies my hope that through their own seeing they might move into Wonder, Joy, and Gratitude, the most satisfying of all states of being. And since in this lifetime I needed (or chose) to see GodLifeLoveBeauty in ways outside the ordinary, it has become a large part of the fabric of my living that I also create spaces in which others can really see, and that can lead to their feeling Connection in a whole new way.
Every December, since I stopped bringing sizable trees into the house, I make some sort of symbol for the season. Usually a variation on the Christmas tree, I never know ahead of time what IT has decided to be. When I left the grocery store a few days ago and made my way past all the fragrant green trees waiting to be tied to the top of SUVs, I looked down and saw a beautifully shaped evergreen branch that had been wrenched from its home. Though it was lying in the gutter I knew IT had plans with me for the remainder of ITs life, so I brought IT home.
Are you familiar with the male bower bird? He’s my first cousin! He goes to great lengths to create elaborately crafted, beautifully adorned nests for his Beloved-to Be. (At the end I’ll give some links to more Bower Bird photos).
The main difference between the B.B. and me when it comes to design for the home is that what I make, I make solely for my own delight (though I know those birds must take delight in their own creations). As for me, I certainly don’t do what I do to attract a mate! Since I don’t live in a cave, though, what I make happens to effect changes in others’ ways of seeing, possibly expanding – hot dog! – their own delight in Life.
My sweet gutter-branch’s shape (bower-like) clearly dictated December’s seasonal decoration. I knew from past experience that the trick – and part of the fun – would be the challenge of supporting the limb’s downward-directed weight. It took awhile, but once I had the right combination of stones and rocks, easy peasy. I was happy with the simplicity:
Branch Vase Water
Happy, that is, till the next morning when I saw IT anew and understood that IT wanted more adornment! In fact, IT wanted to represent something! (Everything speaks, you know.) And so began the “Altar”-ation. (Easy enough to do given all that’s in my house.) I’ll give you the details of the new installation before sharing the photos:
The bower holds two treasures – a suspended painted orb (one of my cat Sophie’s batting balls) that I see as Earth, and a flying fish. On the bamboo mat beneath ITs green self are Three Wise Men – LaoTzu, Buddha, and Chief Seattle. The Lamb of God is present, as is a Herald (the little drummer boy a la my little green monkey with cymbals). Other adornments include rainbow threads, a turtle with a compass on his back, various fine and favored rocks, Chinese coins, and a magic wand in the background next to a rubber stamp of a shooting star. Oh, and most of a rendering of St.Brigid can be seen on the window just above the bough. In her pre-Christian period the Celtic Goddess represented healing, poetry, music, therapy . . .
When other friends were here Sunday evening for my fourth birthday celebration and, thank goodness, for picture-taking, the whole thing fell over when the bough accidentally moved! So. . . I had to begin again. That started the temptation to keep moving things around (all part of the fun).
(Click on photos to enlarge. Enjoy. Hit the back button to return.)
MAY YOUR DAYS BE MERRY AND BRIGHT
With thanks to Gabriel Lauro and Deana Vassar for Bower Installation photos
Bower Birds Links:
© Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.