When I was old enough, my mother showed me
a picture of her father she had shredded—
tucking the tiny pieces into her bra
to keep them hidden during The War.
My mother’s story is one of the most valuable gifts she has given me—in which she describes the most valuable gift her mother gave her, at a time when unfathomable despair—not invincible hope—might have been expected.
Fifteen years ago, my father had a dream that offered me a different— and life changing —answer to my question. I had already begun to suspect that “No” might not be the only possible reply to this question. Nonetheless, the truth that it’s not all right to feel happy…
In writing this to you now, I taste again the nectar of that butterfly’s presence and the wonder of my father’s spirit alighting (even if just in my imagination). What a perennial gift writing is, leading us, when we let it, deep into the heart. To harvest the nectar. To harvest love.