Spiritual Ruminations: why a peacock…

I am the owner of more peacock paraphernalia than I ever thought possible.

People either discover that I like peacocks or they just seem to innately connect me with them. Either way, I have at least 6 different peacock Christmas ornaments, a purse, placemats, dishes, a pen, note cards, shoes, a skirt, scarves, several pair of earrings, a bracelet with a peacock jewel charm, decorative boxes…you get the drift. These are in addition to the items I have purposefully curated.

Why a peacock?

There is something so incredibly beautiful about this bird. The colors are hues I live in; tones that speak of water, air, peace, rest and joy. When I am feeling stressed, or if I anticipate a stressful day or situation, I enshroud myself in the peacock tones that speak this peace.

At first glance, this bird’s feathers speak lightness and dignity as well as playfulness. Looking more deeply, I see the image of the early labyrinth design, a mandala of nature. These are symbols and images that elicit prayer.

When I began this blog, I learned that the peacock also holds a depth of Christian symbolism—that of the resurrection. It is perhaps, akin to the phoenix rising from the ash. The fullness of beauty, lushness of life, exhibited by the spread of the peacock tail is always an “aha” moment for me. What a great picture of new life!

This past Sunday the Gospel story of the Transfiguration was proclaimed. Again as last week, this is a scripture passage I have heard so often that I fail to really listen to its message. I have been challenged to go deeper into this passage however, and am discovering some things that draw it, the peacock and my own journey together.

I love peak moments of life, mountain top experiences, peacock tail spreading opportunities. I shine at these times. I have been graced to know many such times. However, I mainly reside in the valley. One of my life challenges has been to honor the transfigured times as they are happening, then to process and learn from them so as to shine a light on the valley depths. I believe this is known as being in the present moment. I want to “ooh” and “ahh” over the spread peacock feathers and take that memory with me. I want to build my tent with Jesus and the prophets and hang on to the moment of grace and inspiration. But I cannot really appreciate any of it until it is gone and it simply burns bright in my heart and mind. The tail will fold, the sun will go behind the clouds, the vision will recede. Yet, the memory remains and the inspiration that it ignites is life giving. It is this inspiration, processed and prayed over, that sets my feathers flying to the open, lights the sun within my garments, and sets free the hope of new life.

New life. Hope. Resurrection.

And that, my friends, is the tail of the Peacock…

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