Here is a reposting of an early essay with photos I have lost from my archive.
I think it was in 1971 that I drove to Marshall Field's in Oak Brook, Illinois, to shop for a birthday gift for my high school friend, Carol. We were both in college now, and she was turning 20.
Once in Marshall Field's I walked to my favorite department--china. But this time, instead of gazing at the cups and saucers, I found myself in front of porcelain statues. That day, I purchased this statue for Carol knowing that it was an unusual gift for girl friends. A $4.50 bracelet would have been adequate. But this girl, this shining girl, cost me $28.00.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes that dolls symbolize little life. It is the symbol of what lies buried in humans that is numinous, "the small glowing facsimile of the original Self," that which is eternal in each one of us.
If this porcelain statue or doll has anything to do with my spirit or Carol's spirit, the life of the Divine within us, I can observe that she is calm, watching the movement of the butterfly on her hand. Movement is seen in the lift of her skirt. And I sense that the Spirit of God would move freely in her heart.
These days, Carol and I share this statue, along with a relationship of spiritual companionship. She is a spiritual director in Chicago, not far from our childhood homes in Wheaton, IL. We, like the shining girl, are trained to follow the movement of God.
photo credit: Joanna Matlak