Last night I dreamed I was dying. As the world fell away around me, I was free-falling. I thought to myself, so this is what it feels like to die. Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind. This could not be more true than it is today. There was a time not long ago I obsessed over my career; now, I obsess over developing my writing talent.
Peace and solace await me in my garden, so it is there I go to contemplate this dream. The world beneath my tree is teeming with proof of life. After a dream of dying, I need the reassurance that I am among the living.
The Blessed Mother rests within the profusion of nasturtiums I planted early spring. They are blooming now, and surrounding her with beautiful blossoms in brilliant colors. Flaming orange and vibrant yellow blossoms nestle among the overpowering verdant foliage. The entire nasturtium plant is edible, with a crisp peppery taste like watercress. They are a lush carpet where there was once desolate ground.
I lay on the cool Tuscan colored concrete bench beneath my tree and look up, pondering my future. My magnificent mesquite tree gives refuge from the sun in this area of the garden.
The Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia) grows here beside my bench in a massive blue ceramic pot. A native of tropical climes, it is profuse in the southern states such as Louisiana and Texas. I ordered a cutting 15 years ago from a nursery in Louisiana. With all it’s beauty, there is a dark side; it is toxic and I must wear gloves to care for it. The Trumpet would wither and die during the hot, dry summer months if it weren’t for this sheltering tree.
Gazing upward, I realize how delicate the leaves and branches are; they provide a canopy of fine lace, each leaf and branch interwoven with one another to provide solace from the sun and hold tight against the winds of the monsoons. All together, they form a barrier and protect the life below.
Closing my eyes, I meditate. The sounds of my garden fill the air. A captivating symphony of nature. The lovebirds happily chirp as they feed. A murder of crows alight onto the tree gossiping to one another. Their energetic landing showers tiny needle-shaped leaves upon my face. The lizards skittering among the rotted debris within the garden as they search for succulent insects. The hummingbird’s high-pitched mating chirp.
Soleri bronze bell from Arcosanti
The Soleri bell with its clang, clang, clang in the wind. I don’t hear her, but I know my Venus is offering her silent support. I pray for signs from the Universe, God, Buddha, My Angels, that I am on the right path. I pray for a peaceful yet interesting transition to this next phase of my life.
I open my eyes and there, among the fluttering Tibetan Prayer Flags, are 5 white butterflies dancing in the air
. I watch them with awe and wonder.
In Japan, white butterflies symbolize the souls of departed loved ones. Many Asian or Ancient Greek cultures connected to nature by deriving symbols and meanings for plants and animals. The butterfly and its association with the soul spans across many cultures and beliefs, such as Christian, Greek, Chinese and Japanese. In Greek myth, Psyche, which translates to “soul,” is represented by a butterfly. In the Christian culture, a butterfly is often found on ancient tombs, and Jesus Christ is seen holding a butterfly in Christian art. In dreams, a butterfly is considered to mean a turning point or transition in life.
And so, I have my answer.
Linda Lee Lyberg