A favorite book of mine, Gift from the Sea, written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and published the year that I graduated from college (1955), inspires the content of today's blog (it also inspired the very name of this blogsite - Gift from the Butterfly Garden). In Gift from the Sea Lindbergh draws life lessons from the sea. Collecting shells, symbolic reminders of goals that she pursues, Lindbergh shows her readers that we can learn both from our sorrows and our joys as we endeavor to build full and abundant lives.
As I have walked the beach these past weeks, collecting my own shells, I have reflected on the recent ebbs and flows of my life. In these past months I have weathered chemotherapy treatments, trips to the hospital, and surgery. Yet now I feel well and am basking in the Florida sunshine while feasting my eyes on the beauty of the seaside.
The butterfly garden also witnesses ebbs and flows - a caterpillar busily munches its way across a milkweed leaf and sheds skin as it grows in size, then forms a chrysalis, a place of rest, while transforming into a butterfly. The short lifespan of the butterfly does not stop it from flitting from flower to flower, delighting all who observe it. The garden as well as the sea shares this gift of wisdom, teaching us to appreciate what we are given and to accept change with reflection and affirmation.