This evening we went to the Muttart Conservatory to view the corpse flower that has finally bloomed. The Corpse Flower is the largest flower in the world and the stinkiest! Although when we were there this evening, the smell wasn’t too bad at all. It took a few minutes to get used to initially and then it was fine. The Muttart is comprised of 4 pyramids that house plants native to different climates. The pyramids are arid, temperate, tropical? (I think), and then the feature pyramid that changes with holidays and seasons. We tend to like to go to the Muttart in the winter when we are overwhelmed with the white landscape and no sign of green anywhere.
After we had viewed the main attraction, we went outside to the climb around at the tops of the hills where the base of pyramids are. Unfortunately on the paved area up there, lay a dead bird. It did not look gruesome in any way at all, but it was clearly passed away. My K pointed it out as, “there’s some kind of animal over there,” and when I looked I saw that it was a bird. R of course looked over to see what it was, curious to know what was going on. Now instead of looking at a corpse flower, she was looking at an animal corpse (I realize that corpse is a term generally used with a dead human body not an animal). This brought her to tears. I gently reminded her that that is a part of the cycle of life.
It devastates me a little bit each time she has an encounter with death. I can see that it makes her reel as it often makes me, and it’s hard, as her mother, to watch her grapple with it.
I let her cry her tears and feel her sorrow for this poor unsuspecting bird. I made my gentle reminder, then made a joke because she responds extremely well to humor, and pointed something out to focus her attention elsewhere. As we were walking to our car, we found a home made swing on the public property in front of someone’s home. She happily tested it out, with a smile that clearly indicated she was now in THIS moment. The bird and thoughts of death were forgotten. There was only the swinging sensation, the air she could feel around her as she swung back and forth, back and forth, and a huge grin across her face.
How intensely and earnestly my R feels her emotions. I hope she never loses that ability to feel with abandon in the company of those she feels safest with. To always feel that she need not censor her emotions. I hope that I can always make her feel safe enough that she may continue to feel as deeply as she does.