Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Butterfly Effect

According to Wikipedia, "The concept of the butterfly effect is frequently referred to in popular culture in terms of the novelty of a minor change in circumstances causing a large change in outcome."

My older sister and my grandmother's hands with a butterfly, photo taken by my younger sister.

I'm sitting in an atuobody waiting room. Well, rather, I am camping out in an autobody waiting room. I was in a car accident last month and the trunk is still leaking. They are working on it and I am working on all that I brought with me. I can't just sit. Rather, I can't just sit here and read, or do nothing for 3 hours, the time they quoted it would take. At 2.5 hours now, I think they might be right about that estimate.

I sat, working on various bits of things, a little computer work, a little pinning and cutting of projects. I also brought along some new crochet bags to work on. Likewise, I am listening to an audio book, The Possibly of Everything, by Hope Edelman. It is a memoir of a California writer who chronicles a trip with her toddler and husband to Belize. There is a butterfly on the cover of the audio book case.

As I work, some of the employees are interested in my bag. A woman mentions it looks like a crocheted rug she has, made by a friend's mother, which she says 'is very dear to me'. I nod and tell her that the bags are being made from rag strips that my grandmother, who passed in the fall, had prepared for her own rug making. I explain that I am using them to make bags, rather than rugs. She says they look good and we go back to what we were doing.

On CD player, Edelman details a visit to a butterfly farm, where her family has bright blue South American insects land on them and they gape at the beauty. This, too, reminds me of my grandmother. In August, when she was still able to get out and about, my family took her to a butterfly festival at a local nature center. They set up a mesh tent with a variety of fluttering things. At the festival, my older sister wheeled my grandmother into the tent and tried to get one to land on her hands but they were somewhat spooked, as too many 4 year olds had been clutching them all day.

The crochet bag, the woman's comments, the audio book and, just like that, I am utterly, completely missing my grandmother.

The colors on the bag in front of me blur and mush as I tear up. I can feel them about to spill over and I hear my grandmother's voice asking “What will people think?” Yes, Gram, what *would* people think at me crying over you in an auto body shop? I can barely contain my laugh at her unexpected chiding and the tears slip back into my eyes.

While her love in my life had an undeniable affect, so did her quirks and it was those that just saved me from crying in the waiting room of an auto body shop. And, thus, my butterfly effect is complete for today.


Jen Judd said...

I felt those butterfly wings all the way down here in Alabama...hugs to you and your rags and your precious memories! :)

doubleare said...

I don't know how I missed this entry when you originally posted it. That was really beautiful.

Beth said...

I miss Grandma too! *tears up* (((((HUGS))))