It might be because I was an English major, or it just may be the way my mind works, but I have a tendency to find the “symbolic representation” of anything and everything I encounter. I fully realize, of course, that most of the time this is a mere intellectual exercise–attempting to “crack a code” or discern meaning in what may otherwise appear meaningless, nothing more than simple entertainment.
August’s Adoption Day and celebration are coming up in just a little over a month. The invitations came in last week, but the printer neglected to send the envelopes. Knowing I had a very small window to address the invitations, I went out yesterday in search of a complementary envelope. I popped into Staples and found what looked like–at first glance–just a pretty envelope. I picked up a few packages and went on my way.
Driving home I thought that perhaps I should have just waited for the printer’s plain white envelopes–that these embellished ones were not really necessary. But then I got home, opened the package, and studied it carefully:
Three butterflies on the front flanked by two large, protective flowers–and on the back a single butterfly, a near-replication of the third from the front. And then I smiled because I realized these were the perfect envelopes. The butterflies, Oscar, Edgar, and August, protected on both sides by the two large flowers, Don and me, and the single butterfly, August, on the back. Add to the fact that the first and third butterflies are darker and the center one lighter, and the symbolism simply dripped from the paper.
It didn’t take a lot of effort to crack this code . . . and yet it seems anything but meaningless: A parent’s job is to protect his or her children while simultaneously giving that child the wings they need to fly free. And August’s Adoption Day marks the official start of that journey.
Thanks, Ritz, for forgetting to pack our envelopes. I can’t imagine finding this much meaning in the plain white variety.