• Dr. Vin

Flutter By


During last night’s guided meditation, Sharon Salzberg invited us to “think of yourself at a different age, younger or older than you are now and offer the sayings of loving kindness”.

I see myself in the future, at age 90, sitting on the carpeted stairs in my house, just like my mother-in-law did at that age. I hold a blank sketchbook and pen, just like she did and look out the window at the trees. Then I say the words that go with the meditation, “May I feel safe, feel happy, feel healthy. May I be at ease.”

My mother-in-law liked to write rhyming poems and draw butterflies sitting on mushrooms. Like her, as long as I have a sketchpad and my imagination, I want to write and draw. As long as I am not too scared. As her dementia got more severe, she became more anxious. If I am not too fearful or too sick, I am happy at 90.

I have learned lessons from this quarantine that can help me at 90 (If I am blessed to live that long). First, I struggled with accepting being dependent on other people, like neighbors who bring eggs and veggies, and my sister who shops for and delivers our other groceries. Now I accept and appreciate their kindness. Next, I learned to embrace a narrower circumference, to move around inside a smaller circle. My house, my backyard, my neighborhood – only as far as the 1,2, or 3 miles my daily walks take me. Then I learned to fill those smaller spaces in a fuller way, like a butterfly who alights on a mushroom and slowly flaps her wings to soak the sun into her every vein.

And just Be

More Here

More Now

Not flitting from one yard to the next, always searching for a new flower.

I was a butterfly, quick to flutter by,

Now I sit on the stairs and soak in the light from the window.


(The chalk art in this post is based on a drawing in my mother-in-law's sketchbook)

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