Strength Symbols

On Friday, as I was having my hair cut for the first time since June (during a several hour visit to New York to see my little sister) , I noticed that the man razoring my ends had a pair of feathers tattooed on his forearm. When asking him about the origin, he said that he had gotten the ink with a friend, symbolizing that they would remain “birds of a feather” and stick together.

I told him that I was intrigued because of my thing for feathers. I told him they were my strength symbol. My sister, who accompanied me patiently during the appointment, poked fun at me, asking, snarkily, what a strength symbol meant.

I explained that feathers, as I have written on endlessly at Mommy, Ever After, are my sign that things will be ok. They are my protectors, my guardians, my peace.

Upon moving into my new house, I received several incredible gifts involving feathers. One was the beautiful gold plate in my entry way. And there were others. But one in particular touched me in a way that is hard to describe.

I have a friend who is my oldest and dearest. And when I moved into my new home, she got me a poster, a native American design, entitled “Feathered Shields”. It is a print by David Manje and to me is the embodiment of a strength symbol.

Because of it’s unusual size, it has taken me nearly a year to have it framed. But finally, finally, I was able to find a way to frame it that both stuck to my limited budget and did the piece justice. I used the framing department at Michael’s once again, but instead of ordering a custom frame, I made the more economical choice of buying a stock frame and having them cut a custom mat and assemble it for me.

The finished product now hangs on the wall at the entrance to my kitchen. It is my strength symbol. So is my best friend.

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Because shields are meant to protect people. Feathers are meant to protect me. And she and I are meant to protect each other. Birds of a feather.

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