Cynthia’s favorite saying to her husband, Father Tim, when he got restless was always “Go and Be like the Butterfly.” (and/or moth :))
After Father Tim officially retired from being the rector at the small Episcopal chapel (The Lord’s Chapel) in Mitford…he struggled for several years trying to find a balance between contributing to the community, continuing to help others, filling interim churches/chapels preaching positions, and guiding his small family through life’s trials of ups and downs.
He felt like he wasn’t using his time perhaps the way he was meant…he was floundering. It took him awhile to find this new balance in his later years but he finally understood one day what his wife kept telling and encouraging him to do and be. “Go and be like the butterfly.”
Butterflies have only a short life span but yet as we watch them in our gardens flickering back and forth between flowers, the beauty of the surroundings are heightened just by their sheer appearance. They brighten up the day by their presence. Unknowingly, to only Father Tim, this is what he does daily in every situation…whether it is a casual social encounter or a purposeful mission to help people in trouble…the light follows him. He can’t see himself as others do…a beacon in the darkness.
After the lost of one good friend in Mitford, he realizes that man’s stay here on earth is extremely short also…so time should be spent in fostering loving relationships, friendships, and maintaining an openness and acceptance of all God’s creatures in all their diversity…human and animals.
As a rector he is always looking for more stories to tell in his sermons and finds them in the quaint mountain people he calls his friends…”the beauty of ordinary people living ordinary lives“…in Uncle Billy’s jokes, and the delightful folklore of the Blue Ridge mountain families he has come to love.
Father Tim begins to live his daily life by Goethe’s advice:
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good
poem, see a fine picture, and, if possible, speak a few
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Father Tim encourages everyone to tell his/her own life story…* and I think he probably could have used the following true story I accidentally came cross in any sermon he preached….on why man can’t live without stories.
Award-winning author, Neil Gaiman, tells this true account from his own family tree ancestry….part of the reason, he later said, he became an author.
How many of us have used books as escapism too? Everything from a traumatic period in our lives to a “stuck in a rut” routine…either at work or home? We long for adventure, peace or joy, fulfillment, and find it in a book. Haven’t we all used expressions like “I am dying to get my hands on the next book in the series?”
So until tomorrow…”With apologies to Einstein, the universe is not just made up of atoms, it is made up of stories.” (I vividly recall remembering a dream one time, as a child, that I was floating in space and could hear mothers or fathers reading bedtime stories, children reading aloud, youth, and adults…and it was like the Tower of Babel…so many phrases from books I recognized and many I didn’t….millions, billions, trillions of stories floating in space from each us who once lived on earth…each telling our story.)
Two dahlias and two morning glory plants from Ace Hardware finally were planted yesterday morning. I was getting concerned that I wouldn’t have any morning glories this year. Let the garden begin!
As I was digging up the dirt to plant…look what I discovered…new life coming up from the ground…left over from last year….now a new morning glory.