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environmental essence: ladybug laying eggs

My mother adored ladybugs. Anyone who knew her personally knew of this love. Mina literally collected anything that had ladybugs on it; pens, cups, clothing, you name it. But she also embodied the spirit of ladybugs in unexplainable, magical ways. Wherever she went, ladybugs would find her. I have a fond memory of her calling me once, in such excitement to let me know that there were hundreds of ladybugs nesting on a window in her bedroom.

A few days leading up to Mother's day, Tushka and I were out in the garden tending plants, when I heard Tushka gasp. At first, I was worried that something had happened but then just as my mother before her, she exclaimed that she had found a ladybug crawling on a maple tree. But it wasn't just a ladybug crawling on a maple tree, when we got up close to the ladybug, we were astonished to find that the ladybug was literally in the process of laying eggs, and somehow we were lucky enough to be witnessing it happen.

In that moment, I was struck with such a profound feeling of how tangible and real and close my mother was. She is within Tushka, she is within the mother ladybug birthing life, and she is within those delicate saffron colored eggs. In that moment, I understood that this offering of the ladybug was a Mother's day gift from my mother.

Grieving is non-linear, deeply personal, and something we have to process on our own. Grieving. Much like giving birth or dying, we can be supported by our loved ones, but in the end it is our journey alone to face.

We decided to make an environmental essence to capture the moment. As we placed the glass at the base of the tree, and thanked Mina for this gift, for this medicine, our tears fell into the water, braiding together our sadness and joy. Sometimes the medicine we need to grieve isn't found in plants, human touch, that bottle of wine. On that afternoon, we witnessed the possibility of being reborn, of metamorphosis, of true love.

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