I picked up a card bearing a butterfly and was asked what does a butterfly mean to you? I thought for a moment and replied “freedom.”
I would have signed up for the One Spirit training years ago had it not been for my rapidly deteriorating eye sight. I was eventually told by my ophthalmologist that nothing could be done to improve the situation. I had already given up driving and could no longer see to cross the road safely, let alone thread a needle. It was at this point I decided to apply for a guide dog but thanks to modern technology a miracle took place.
At my next eye check, I was given the incredible news that a new procedure was available that may improve my sight. With little to lose, I embraced this news open-heartedly. Following the operation, I had to lay face down for two weeks and slowly from nearly total blindness a tiny thread of bright, beautiful and shining light appeared, slowly over the following weeks I began to see more light, until the miraculous moment came when I could see clearly. I can now read, use my PC and even thread a needle. Colours have changed considerably; they are brighter and clearer than ever before, I cringe when I look at the purple jewelry I used to wear with a brown top, believing it to be a perfect match! This miracle enabled me to take full advantage of the OSIF training on all levels.
In readiness for eventual ordination I decided to make and embroider my own stole in celebration of the wonderment of regaining my vision. This challenged a skill last used in the 50’s when I was employed at Covent Garden Opera House; embellishing costumes for the Royal Ballet and Opera. Designing my stole was an amazing experience. The design had to reflect my earthy roots and love for nature with a slightly wild feel about it. Painting on silk, cutting out and stitching the tiny pieces in place amongst the embroidered flowers became a meditation of overwhelming gratitude. The design was completed with the addition of five embroidered butterflies, each one with sparkly, sequined wings. The creation of my stole became a real celebration of thanksgiving and I wore it for the Ordination Ceremony that took place in Notting Hill on the week-end of my 73rd birthday. Thankfully, I can now not only see clearly but I also know who I am and what I believe. Blessed be… www.interfaithfoundation.org