Saturday, June 25, 2011

butterflies and lighthouses

I was having trouble sleeping tonight. Then lightning struck me. Here is the result:

For those who know me well, you know I love butterflies. I love them so much, I have one permanently fixed on my back. When I chose the butterfly design for my tattoo almost 10 years ago, I did so because of the symbolism. Everyone knows butterflies are beautiful, graceful creatures. But do we often reflect on the catepillar, the cacoon and the transformation? I got the butterfly to remind me that good can come from darkness, and the positive results can be exponential compared to what one would expect at the starting point.

I remember thinking I wanted to pick a design that would be relevant my whole life. Little did I know who prophetic I was. I thought my tough times were those I experienced in my first 34 years of life: a bad breakup of a relationship, a rough time crawling up the career ladder, juggling my master's degree with working full time, or fighting our infertility battle.

I laugh at that now. I had no clue how relevant it would continue to be. I stand now in my cacoon, patiently waiting to re-emerge. (Ok maybe not totally patiently. But I am waiting and it will be beautiful!)

Another beautiful symbol in my life is lighthouses. Those who know me well have seen them in our bathroom, which is decorated in a nautical theme. We picked it because we live down the shore, nothing more meaningful than that. Now, it's relevant because of the beacons of hope in my life, and the beacon I hope to some day be for others.

There is no more precious light than the light of hope. Lighthouses are built by those who have sailed the waters before us and know sometimes we need special guidance.

Cancer is the dark, rough waters, while hope is the beam of light guiding us safely to whatever shore we are destined for. In my life, I aim to be the beacon of light that may tell a future sister to keep plodding forward. But I can only earn my light bulb by sailing those waters myself.

It makes me think of any captain in training. You don't get the right to guide others until you have been tested yourself. Now I know some of you will chuckle at this next reference, but I feel like a "greenhorn" on the deadliest catch. A bit nauteous, a bit frightened, and a bit invigorated. I hope to earn my spot in the captain's chair soon enough. A chance to help guide, teach and reassure new greenhorns, and help them be succesful in their goals and get safely to their own shores.

I always felt a peacefulness by the water, no matter what my stress. This was part of what lead Steve and I to move to Ocean County. There is a serenity here. This experience should be no different. I will keep my eyes out for beacons and I will welcome the feeling of sand between my toes when I land safely ashore.


  1. Who would have thought back then that the cacoon would get thicker some day but also that the butterfly could get even more beautiful... love it. And, I'm also happy that I knew what a greenhorn was... see I was prepped for this post. :)

  2. What is with us and these tattoo's? I have my "Dove of Hope" on my hip that my Mom hated when I got it!...Yet..."Hope" has been my driving force in life since I got it ironically......well...Your almost out of your caccon Nic! And you are going to be a magnificently beautiful butterfly.....:)