My friends Deva and Stan Troy host an annual Solstice gathering in their home, to honor the turning of the seasons and the return of the Light. It is attended by kindred spirits from their various overlapping soul circles. I have been blessed to be part of the tribe for many years and have celebrated with them. One of the highlights is a gift exchange. In most settings, the idea of ‘re-gifting’ is frowned upon, since it might indicate that someone didn’t like something they had and wanted to, on the sly, give it to someone else. In our community, it is considered an even greater gift, since love gets passed along with it. I gathered a few items, including a beautiful light aquamarine shawl that had belonged to my mother Selma, a necklace with a flower on it and a copy of my Bliss Mistress book. When I arrived at the party, I placed it with the other interesting packages on the window seat where they always remain until people choose one that appeals to them. When the time came to select ours, I picked one that was in a bag decorated with an angel. Inside of it was a container with a bird and the words Happy Holidays imprinted on it, a book about Goddess energy and Interview With An Angel by Steven Thayer. The other part of the game is to find the person whose gift you received and talk to them about its significance. Mine came from my friend Annette Kroninger for whom angels are a daily part of life. The person who received the gift from me was my friend Susan Burger. She had known that my mother had passed and when I told her that the shawl and necklace had belonged to her, her gaze softened. Sitting together, we two motherless daughters spoke of the importance of that kind of nurturing wherever it came from. I then told her about the “Mom Miracles”, many of which involved butterflies, and that the cover of my book has a butterfly on it by my mom’s suggestion. Susan beamed and told me that for her birthday, she had received cards that had butterflies on them. I asked when her birthday was and was amazed but not surprised when she said the words November 26th. That was the day my mother joined my father in their new abode on the Other Side. Goosebumps and a knowing grin. Years ago, that experience would have had a twilight zone quality about it. Now it was simply an ‘of course’.
As Susan was leaving later that night, to walk out of the warmth of Stan and Deva’s home, into the cold of the late Autumn darkness, she was donning a coat with beautiful embroidery on it. I commented on it and she turned around and I saw yet another affirmation that my mother is never very far away, since the wings of a butterfly spread across Susan’s back. I could almost feel the butterfly kisses that my mother would plant on my cheek with her eyelashes, as we hugged goodnight.