Someone I’ve known from birth created a banner for me with lots of Egyptian and blue floral photos that read: “Ain’t she pretty, our blue water lily.” There was also a card explaining the gift as to why she called me Blue Water Lily and why I was the first woman inducted into this little group. Many girls are a blue water lily in this context. The unique card read as follows:
“I was reading the other morning about Egyptian Blue Water Lilies that grow in the canals in Alexandria. They bloom in the rainy season in the many city canals and when a drought comes in they disappear. The droughts are so severe that canals (after baking in Egypt’s hot sun) get so packed and dry they use the water canals for roads. Then, when the rain starts and the canals fill up the first thing to return and bloom twice as much as before the drought: The Blue Water Lily. Beautiful but resilient in all climates and seasons. Happy birthday to our Blue Water Lily! Love you.”
This sweet little card touched my heart. I also felt seen and heard. As a child, I was obsessed with the Ancient World. I once wrote a 3-page research paper in the 2nd grade for my gifted and talented group about Ramses II (Ramses The Great). And as a graduate student, my Thesis paper for Admissions about Ancient Greece and classical Greek plays awarded me several academic honors awards, i.e., scholarships that covered nearly half my tuition at SCAD… Plus, all my tattoos pertain to the ancient world too. I even have an ‘ankh’—the Egyptian hieroglyphics that means ‘eternity or key/symbol of life’—inked onto my solar plexus: our survival/life force chakra.
Very intimate tattoo for me… Ultimately, I am an old soul and always knew myself to be, but I did not realize my relatives saw it, too, until then. Suddenly, as I was reading the card that day, I remembered when I was a little girl in elementary school that during thunderstorms or rainstorms: I would turn out all the lights and listen to music with candles lit in the dark, often playing “Scarborough Fair” by Simon and Garfunkel, almost like a little ritual in honor of the rain. And when the rain stopped, I would blow out the candles and turn the lights back on. It psyched my dad out. My mom thought it cute. Regardless, every time I feel deserted, barren, and cracked from the heat of life. Each time I think all the Light has gone out, and I can’t go on. Somehow, I have managed to reinvent myself, to grow more robust, and to thrive in harsh conditions. I always try to highlight the things in my life for which I am grateful because, in many ways, my life has been magical. However, it’s taken a lot of strength, patience, and hope to stay beautiful on the inside and to keep blossoming when so much darkness has inflicted my life. I am indeed a Blue Water Lily.
Ladies (or gents): strive to be a Blue Water Lily, if you aren’t already one… no matter how desolate things may feel, remain hopeful and strong, wait for the rain to come again—and when it does— shine brighter and more beautiful (mind body soul) than ever before.
“Let your life be in the sunshine, not the darkness of your sorrow. You may see your all today, when you know it’ll come tomorrow. See a rose is still a rose, baby girl you’re still a flower. Life can’t lead you and then take you. Make you and then break you. Darlin’ you hold the power.”