"Lila is a variant of the female given name Leila, derived from the Semitic word for night. Over time it has come to mean Dark Beauty or Dark-haired Beauty. In Spanish lila is the word for the color lilac. In German it means purple.”
I sauntered into the kitchen sleepily, preparing to make coffee for my husband and me. The kettle needed filling and while the water poured into the empty space I noticed a motionless bee on the windowsill. My heart hurt. I put the kettle in its frame and forgot about coffee as I picked the little worker bee up gently. Her leg moved slowly. Hope. Cradling her in the cup of my hand I created a cocoon with my other and blew warm air from my mouth into my hands. Her tiny body responded. More hope. I grabbed some honey and put a small blob of some more hope onto my hand which she immediately started to lap up. The time on the clock was 07h50. My focus had shifted and my husband knew it was now his task to make the coffee.
I walked around my kitchen blowing warmth into my hand and talking shushed words of encouragement to an insect I am hopelessly in love with. She responded weakly to her tonic, wriggling in the sticky substance as I was struck by the irony of a bee possibly dying in honey, something she had a hand in creating. I hoped she was not writing in pain. I’ve had a bee die in my hand once before and the signs looked as though they may be pointing in the same direction.
I kept embracing hope as I continued rooting for her. Forty minutes later she lay motionless in the palm of my hand and I thought it would be best to leave her there until I was certain her last minutes were made as comfortable as a bee can be. I got distracted with my phone while still cupping her in my hand when I felt something move. My head shot down to my palm and my heart thumped in shock as my eyes watched her on all six legs primping and preening herself in the cradle of my humanness . My eyes grew a thick film of sodium chloride solution. Belief.
It took another twenty minutes for her to clean herself of the honey I had tried to feed her. She stayed on my hand as I watched life return to a miraculous and determined little creature. I was in awe at her need for survival and smiled quietly to myself as I watched her small wings buzz in intervals as she continued to prepare herself for flight. I moved outside while I took some photographs of her as the sun draped us both in its morning warmth. At 09h17 her wings fluttered suddenly, sucking the air from my lungs and she proceeded to fly onto my forehead as I laughed in amusement. I could have sworn I felt her give me a grateful peck on my head but that’s just the emotional idealistic human in me. I called my daughter to help me get her off my head and as Montanna put the little marvel back in my hand, she stayed for but one more sweet moment before she took to the sky where a girl with wings belongs. With it she took my belief in hope and a reminder of one of the most powerful quotes from one of my most favourite movies; Sea Biscuit, “You don’t throw a whole life away just because it’s banged up a little”
I decided to call her Lila before I found the meaning so fitting when I looked it up: She almost died in the cold of the night. She is so a dark-haired beauty. Bees love the fragrant lilac flowers of the Lavendar bush and purple is one of my favourite colours which is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic.
Yesterday a bee flew into my bedroom and landed on my finger while I was busy at my computer. Today I saved her friend’s life. There is always hope if you care enough to make your beliefs come to life. Goodbye Lila, what an enlightening pleasure it certainly was to meet you.
I just recently finished reading this book and I cannot begin to tell you how much I cried and in turn found a chasm deep within me to forgive and let go of a past I know now was not my fault. I knew before I opened the book that it was going to be like that; intrinsically healing. I knew because there is so much of Lily inside me; a little girl who lost her mother at far too young, brought up by an abusive father who had far too much pain inside him that he knew what to do with, so he hurt himself and everyone else who got too close.
The story resonated so deeply that I will cherish it's message for as long as my mind and heart can hold onto it. I always thought my mother selfish for committing suicide, for abandoning me to take care of my younger sister and myself without even leaving me a manual at the age of seven on how to BE a mother. That's how long I have been one. But none of what she or my father did was because of me, it was their own 'stuff', their own demons and it's taken me a long time to exorcise them by finding that hard and angry space within my throbbing heart to bend to my knees and honour their stuff that I cannot own but tried to for so long. It's not mine nor will it ever be. All I've ever really searched for throughout these years of trying to make sense of why I was born to two truly damaged souls was a clue somewhere in all that chaos that perhaps they did love me. That I actually mattered to them. Because their actions demonstrated quite the opposite. I will never really know that answer but I comfort myself with the fact that I am still here and a certain amount of love must have been present to allow for that to happen. I guess they loved me in the best way they, in all their brokenness, knew how.
This is the one of the most powerful lines in the book and it was the final moment where it all came full circle for me. The penny dropped with a resonance so loud that it thundered in my soul long after the words had left my eyes.
So, to all of you who are or aren't or cannot be, Happy Mother's Day...find that Mother in yourself before anything or anyone else because she's there, waiting for you to tell her you love and cherish her.
“You have to find a mother inside yourself. We all do. Even if we already have a mother, we still have to find this part of ourselves inside”
- Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees -
How I see it...
I see, speak and write in metaphors because I feel there is much we can learn from nature, people and our surroundings as depicted in my photographs and why I enjoy sharing my thoughts. Not in any attempt to convince or convert you to my way of thinking, seeing or feeling but to share how I see and experience MY mind map of the world. You at no time have to agree, all I ask is that my views and the views of others who wish to express theirs are kindly respected. So relax, get comfy and just enjoy. Happy reading!