Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The firefly tree

The firefly tree

This is a sketch I did tonight of one beautiful moment in my life. It was many years ago when Kirk and I lived in Wiliamsburg, VA. It was also a terrible time for us.  We were trying to start a family and, unbeknownst to us, the water supply in that part of Virginia was tainted with a chemical that caused stillbirths and miscarriages. I had two miscarriages while we lived there and was just heartbroken.

Heartbreak has been on my mind because my husband has just come back from visiting his baby sister who has an incurable malignant tumor in her brain. He was there to visit her of course, but mostly he was there to help with her eight children. So I was remembering this night in Williamsburg when Kirk and I went on a disconsolate evening walk. We only lived a block away from Colonial Williamsburg so we wandered over there because there was no traffic. As we headed up the dark road through the old town we saw one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life; a massive tree completely aglow with the twinkling lights of tens of thousands of fireflies. We stood still and gaped for I don't know how long and for that time the pure beauty of it erased all our grief and pain and helped me to go on. 

In times like this, it does me good to remember those rare perfect respites - like coming upon the firefly tree - because it helps remind me that there will be other moments like it ahead. Sometimes I think this is the only way to get through these devastating things life serves up again and again; by leaping from moment of beauty to moment of beauty like someone leaping from stone to stone across a dark fast dangerous river.


Willym said...



Texas sized hugs..

Elizabeth said...

Thanks to you both and a big hug right back at you. There, I feel better now. Nothing like a good hug from a friend.

David said...

I've only come to your blog through Will's, but your eloquent words and picture there just moved me to tears. Impossible to make any further comment, but thanks

Elizabeth said...

David, Thanks so much for your very kind words. I look forward to visiting your blog soon!

laurent said...

What a beautiful and magical story.

a thousand shades of twilight said...

I'm tearing up and speechless (for once!)
Love, love, love.

jason said...

this is so beautiful!

Tali said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for your comments on 'Lucille'!
A lot of people have mentioned that their guitar shop experience is similar! Something must be done! :)
Thanks for submitting it to stumbleupon. I really appreciate it.

Lovely sketch. I'm sorry to hear about the hard times your family is going through.
Take care.