BUTTERFLY MAIDEN

Springtime is the maiden’s most fruitful time. When the dawning sunshine warms the earth and all things that grow upon it, when birds begin to sing, frogs begin peeping, woodchucks emerge from hibernation, squirrels and chipmunks begin their dance around each other fighting for seeds or burrowing for those hordes of stored nuts and bees begin to buzzzzz. Bulbs begin to force spiky green heads up through the dirt, buds form and blossoms burst forth in a stunning array of colorful bouquets. The warmth of the sun begins to awaken all that became dormant in the cooler weather which announced the arrival of winter.

During the winter she provides shelter for the cocoon “seeds” of springtime in her reed-like tresses where they are safe from harm, warm and dry. The sunny warm days of spring produce a mesmerizing bounty as the most recent generation of delicate butterflies begins to emerge from a thick bed of ferns in a clearing of trees, spiraling toward the warm sun in a tornado-like frenzied swirl, a Fantasia-like event to behold.

Honored to be included in the magical journey of the fragile butterfly hatchlings trying their new wings as they begin to flap them in the warm fresh breeze to dry, she delights in being the first witness. Watching the delicate wings fluttering in flight from spot to spot in a warm spring meadow filled with fragrant blossoms and honeybees drawn to their mission, an annual event. She is equally pleased when fall begins to bite at her antennae and the caterpillars spin their cocoons for her to shelter yet another generation of one of earth’s precious beauties.

KATAHDIN KATY v.1 – v.2

Considering the purple mountains’ majesty helps us to envision the setting of Katahdin Katy’s world. Katy herself is majestic, tall, and slender with basic but chiseled features. She takes long, reflective walks barefoot from May through October, sometimes jogging or spending time on the mountaintop performing intricate Yoga poses. She wakes before dawn each day to do stretches, hanging from her yoga sling hung from a beam in the log cabin studio ceiling before her trek to the summit of Mt. Katahdin. Sitting patiently, she waits to catch the first rays of sun licking ever so slowly over the land, casting a crimson hue over the mountaintop, warming her tanned face.

Some days her hike was strenuous and invigorating, leaving her with so much energy she accomplished more in that day than in other entire weeks. On other days her thighs felt as though they each weighed a ton and were challenging to lift left, lift right, walk forward, and nothing productive or inspiring was accomplished. It seemed to depend on whatever she allowed her mind to harbour. She rented too much space in her mind and allowed worry to affect her negative or positive choices, impacting entire days.

There existed no “best friends” with whom she consulted. Oh, she had friends but was cautious about savoring the few people whose company she rarely did enjoy; visiting them at her leisure and infrequently when driving around local towns was more appealing than hiking alone.

Along the return trip to her cabin, she stops, stretches to breathe in the clear mountain air, bending to pick a fresh bouquet of mountain laurel, knowing the bright red berries will remind her of the mornings’ blazing sun. Even through the drizzle on any misty day, Katy is inspired to integrate each color, shape, and texture her eyes have absorbed, translating them into her pottery.

She sat gazing wistfully out her wide studio window across the abandoned paper wasp nest, peering through the pinecones, between the pieces of pink granite, and onto the sparkling line of blue stones on her wide windowsill. Katy pondered a moment to consider how she could incorporate the scent of the cleansing raindrops beating down on the rocky cliffs or how the fresh dewdrops evaporating from the blossoming flowers could be included somehow in her clay.

Her breathing was the only sound inside her studio. Perhaps the bird songs outside the studio entertained, soothed, and inspired her? She began the process by energetically slapping a couple heavy handfuls of cold, raw, grey clay onto her pottery table. Mindfully kneading it, warming it, she guided it into a beautiful example of the design she saw in her mind on her manual pottery wheel. Fascinating swirls, lines, and patterns were carved into the formed pottery, slip colors applied, and when firing was complete, Katy held the cooled object of beauty up high, bringing it into the light.

Katy hopes her pots and vases somehow reflect the love of her life in this extraordinary place, revealing a glimpse of her rare moments of wonder on the mountain. Katy hopes to share with others not familiar with the beauty where the mountains meet the sea.