The excitement of renewed springtime life along with two successive Holy Weeks has left me in a state bordering on sensory overload. I’ve given my free hours in the evening to composing prayer-poems, practicing flute and drums, and sewing a new ceremonial dress. I long for social interaction and building friendships, but the profusion of life I find outdoors dissuades me from engaging in any activity which would take me amid the steel, glass, and concrete of midtown Atlanta.
On March 31, I spent over an hour of my time after work on a stop-and-go jog towards the end of Barnes Mill Road. I was enthralled by the carpet of delicate color laid down by the violets along the cul-de-sac off Bonnie Dell Drive. Violets are sacred to Mother Cybele, as violets sprouted up from the blood of her dead son, Attis. Moreover, the ancient Romans used violets in remembrance of the dead. Near the violets, I also found a tall, shade-loving “phlox-like” flower. This mystery flower has four petal lobes, so it is not phlox which has five petal lobes. I would have to wait until my Easter weekend trip up to my mom and dad’s house to see Phlox in its April glory.
Given some recent disagreements with my parents, I was somewhat apprehensive at going up to see them Saturday, April 4. My uncle Robert and his wife, Donna, who have always been my strongest supporters within the family, were visiting for the weekend. I thus took the opportunity to bring them a Dobani frame drum with their Easter basket. As is one of my spring holiday traditions, I packed an Easter basket for mom and dad.
My partner and I arrived at my family’s house north of Gainesville around noon and waited for mom, Robert, and Donna to return from visiting grandma at personal-care. At the dinner of turkey breast, sweet potatoes, and vegetables, we all chatted amicably. After dinner, I brought in everyones Easter gifts. Robert and Donna were extraordinarily impressed with their gift. I taught Donna how to use her fingers to produce rhythms. Then I got out my flute and my other frame drums and gave an impromptu recital.
During a quick after-dinner walk, I had a chance to admire the trailing phlox at the end of the driveway at my mom and dad’s. Phlox is greek for “flame” and the five fused petals of the phlox flower symbolize unity. The glorious flowering phlox thus showed how my heart could be reunited with my family despite past differences. Phlox also symbolizes the hope for sweet dreams. Hence I pray for nightly dreams of acceptance, friendship, and closeness, which can bring me the sort of ongoing, inner healing I need.