I want to share with you a little inspirational story with a slightly mystical tone that I wrote several years ago. Here is its history.
Some years ago, I purchased a set of cards entitled “Star+Gate” that had a profound effect on my life, but not quite the way the creators of the cards intended.
The authors seemed to want me to use them almost as one would use Tarot cards, for in-depth predictions or insights. Actually, they may have indirectly done this for me, but I consciously refused to use them as directed. Being a writer in my heart, I did something different.
As the instructions told me to do, I would obediently shuffle the deck and draw three cards from it each time and dutifully make up a story around the pictures on those cards. The drawings were provocative and mythical in nature and this spurred my imagination. So, although I refused to use them for divination or even for personal insights, I happily wove fanciful stories around each of the three card “draws” and these stories had a life of their own. I referred to them as my “StarGate Chronicles” and I filled many notebooks with them, which I treasure to this day.
This week, in cleaning out my house radically because I will be moving this spring/summer to another part of the country, I found some of these tales and one in particular struck me as something I would like to share with you, my readers, this week. I have never before shared my StarGate stories with any but a few close friends, though I may decide to share more of them in the future because they all speak to some truths, which were brought to my attention by the Star+Gate cards.
So below is the first of these stories for you to ponder on and take from whatever you want – and these are the three cards that inspired this tale.
The little boy had been warned repeatedly about the dangers of falling into the water and drowning, but he hadn’t thought much about it although this was actually a possibility in the rocky terrain where his family camped. There were many mountain streams and rapids there and sometimes these contained treacherous whirlpools.
However, it is in the nature of children to explore, and left to their own devices, if not frightened about life by adults, it is also their nature to be quite unafraid of such things as whirlpools or other disastrous pitfalls of life.
So it was that on this pleasant summer’s day, warm and sunny but crisp with a touch of approaching Fall, the little boy, quite naked and free to go forth into the woods, was excited by the idea of prancing about and exploring the world. Accordingly he set out to go far afield.
To this child, “life” soon became all about a butterfly which he spied fluttering about from bush to bush. The little creature seemed to him incredibly fascinating as it darted about in front of his eyes as though playing a game of hide and seek. It even seemed to smile at him, so closely was it focused on the child and on its little game with him.
A charming playtime then occurred between the golden boy and this creature of nature. It was all engrossing, one of those wonders that makes the day of a child infinite and all absorbing.
However, back at the campsite, things were not going so well. The child’s mother was worrying intensely. Where was her son? Why didn’t he answer her when she called out to him? She could not answer her own questions and dread thoughts came into her mind.
“The whirlpool!” the mother suddenly thought to herself. “The whirlpool in the stream in the woods! That’s why he doesn’t answer my calls!”
“Oh my God!” She gasped “the whirlpool!”
Now, having talked herself into a state of panic, despair and anger at the child for endangering himself, the mother rushed to try to save him.
At first she circled the woods calling out desperately to him. But since he was on the other side of the woods in an open space where butterflies love to play with children, he didn’t hear her and remained happily running in the game of hide and seek.
Not finding her son and getting no response to her frantic calls, the mother, heart pounding in her throat, headed straight for the site of the whirlpool. Dreading what she might find, she knew she must go to this place if she was to save him.
When she came to the turbulent stream she stopped short, dizzified, and half faint from fear at what she saw.
Before her a mountain whirlpool swirled within the depths of the stream. Never had a whirlpool seemed to her to be so strong or so determined, never had it looked so ominous.
She felt a choking feeling. At first it threatened to smother her, almost stop her breathing, but as she kept gazing into the rhythmic swirl of the waters she began to notice a strange glow, a luminosity she had not seen there at first. It seemed to speak to her, and when she saw it she cried “My son!” and sank to her knees.
“My golden son! My beautiful child has disappeared into these waters!” she cried “He is in those depths, I know it for I can see his shining little self radiating from them. The pool has absorbed him!”
Wild with grief the mother now threw herself on the banks of the stream and plunged her arms into the swirling waters – reaching and reaching as she sought desperately to find her baby whom she believed to be already drowned.
The mother wept wildly as she flailed the water. She implored her son to return to her. She cried out in pain and grief until, too exhausted to cry anymore, she collapsed on the riverbank and, her face streaked with tears, she clasped her hands in prayer and looked up to see, to her surprise, what seemed to be a great and shining cross in the sky.
The cross seemed to glow in the heavens and she pled to it for help for her son. She cried out to it and beseeched it to help her and to save him.
And as she prayed, and as she cried, she gradually became calmer. The cross now seemed like a great figure with outstretched and protecting arms. And then she saw the cross offering help and salvation to her son wherever he might be. The great arms of the cross seemed to signal to her that no matter how intense the tragedy might seem, her son was safe somewhere, in some other realm perhaps, or on some other plane. But wherever, he was protected. He had been taken and was being looked after with tenderness and love and understanding. His small precious self was being honored.
As the mother half knelt before the imagined cross, she felt peace growing within her. She glanced down again into the swirling waters of the pool and there she saw the radiance in the water increasing to a dazzling point and in it she saw the wonder of her son and as she did so she cried out. “Oh thank you God – thank you for letting me have him with me for a little while. He was a gift beyond gifts…”
And as the mother gave thanks, weeping with a strange but deep gratitude at having had this wondrous child, she felt herself begin to accept his death. Despite the deep wound in her heart, it was beginning to be acceptable because of her child’s abiding beauty.
“Something that good we cannot keep,” she surprised herself by saying. “Something that good is like the butterflies in the field that flit here and there and then are gone.” And now the mother understood the loss of her son and began to accept it more because she felt his beauty.
And the moment she did this, she heard a child’s merry piping voice behind her. It came from a place at the edge of the woods where her son had just emerged from the forest, a beautiful butterfly perched on his shoulder.
“Mommy!” he called out happily. “Mommy! Look at the butterbug! A butterbug landed on my shoulder and he rode with me all this way!”
There was indeed a delicate fragile-winged blue-violet butterfly on her son’s shoulder. It was the butterfly that had alighted there when they were playing and the child had had the presence of mind not to try to catch hold of the little creature, but to let it just ride on him, free and trusting, as a traveler in the sun. It had accompanied him on his walk through the woods to his mother and was still perched there trustingly.
“Look, the butterbug didn’t fly away!” said the child.
“And neither did you,” whispered the mother, bewildered at the shock of seeing her son and overwhelmed by the simplicity of it all. “…neither did you…”
Once again she was crying but this time in joy and wonder.
But despite her relief she was careful not to grab her son to her too quickly, or to hug him too profoundly or to grasp him to her, for to have done so would have been to make the butterfly fly away forever, and he had brought this creature all that way because of his childish understanding of it. He had known enough not to hold the butterfly. He had understood more than she herself had understood…
The mother smiled through her tears. Butterflies are like children, she thought, they cannot be held too tightly. They are here through their own grace, their own will, and they can fly away again at a moment’s notice. But if we love them and we let them alight upon our shoulders easily and without grasping, they may remain with us for quite a while. They are indeed a gift…
I would love to hear any thoughts you have after you read this story. You can reach me at Pat@PatCarrington.com or comment below.