Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Spirit Bead...

When I was participating actively in a beader's guild a few years back, I learned about the concept of the spirit bead. As I understand it, Native American beaders would always include one bead that didn't fit the pattern they were working, to indicate that only the Great Spirit or Creator was perfect. My own work had plenty of spirit beads that arrived on their own wings, so I had no need to insert them intentionally.

Ever since learning of that concept, I see "spirit beads" in other aspects of life. For example, the blue flax that piggybacked on a daylily I transplanted to my purple, rose and crimson front garden does not belong. It is the only blue in the garden. Though lovely, and one of my favorite flowers, it is too light and too bright for this particular garden. Nevertheless, so far I have left it there. The blue flax is the spirit bead in the front garden, reminding me that I am not the only gardener on this little parcel of land. There are birds, and wind, and entangled roots that have a hand in the design of my garden. I know it is only the first of many surprises in that garden, and I like it, though it mars my dark romantic color scheme.

The burnt corner of the casserole you are taking to the potluck dinner? Spirit bead. The sagging spot in the top of the birthday cake you made for a friend? Spirit bead. The embarrassing moment you have in front of way too many observers? It's just another spirit bead in the story of your life. It doesn't define the pattern, or who you are. When you start to recognize them as "spirit beads" even imperfections can be beautiful.


photo by Haiku, June 5, 2007

6 comments:

Rapunzel said...

Aisling, I believe this is my favorite of your posts..ever! What a beautiful way to view life's "imperfections!" Lovely, just lovely. Thank you for bringing a smile to my day!

Aisling said...

What a nice compliment, Rapunzel! I'm glad I could bring you a smile. I hope you think of this the next time something doesn't quite go as planned. We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes, can't we? Thank you again for that sweet comment!

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

I love this post too Aisling. I make jewelry, mosting strung pieces and I've done that before too, and now I know how to explain it.

Aisling said...

Robbin, Thanks for coming by! Glad to have provided you with an explanation. It was nice to bead in "community." There was so much to learn from the other women.. about beading, style, outlook, etc. Sort of like blogging in community, I guess! Glad to see you here! :)

Norieta@aol.com said...

aloha Aisling. Since I was a little girl my Cherokee Grandmother told me to always add a "spirit bead" to whatever craft I was doing to remind myself that only God is perfect. I told my friend about it and since she had never heard of it befor I tried to find it on google.Somehow she found your blog and we both think it is wonderful. It touched both of us. She is in Tennessee and I am in Hawaii. We are online together and both injoying your site. Much mahalo for sharing and for proving my story on the spirit bead. aloha, Norieta

Aisling said...

Norieta,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my spirit bead post. I love the story of you and your friend. I hope you will visit again!