Monday, January 27, 2014

The Meaning of the Starfish

My mom had a thing for starfish, especially starfish pins. I got her a few over the years, but I don't know what became of them when she passed away. I'll have to ask my sister.

Of course, when she was alive, we thought of Mom's starfish pin fetish as just kind of a cute quirk, and an easy answer to the question, "What should I get Mom for INSERT OCCASION HERE?"

But after she passed away, every time I'd see a starfish pin or necklace or earrings, I'd think she was saying hello to me.

When we were in Nova Scotia, we went to a charming little town called Chester.




Now, Chester, Nova Scotia is named for Chester, England. And Chester, England has a connection to my Mom. She lived near there with her grandmother when she was around eight years old. In Chester, Nova Scotia (are you with me?) we went into a sweet little shop filled with fun stuff.


These were in the shop. Hey Look! There's a starfish on that pillow!

On the counter was a bowl filled with little shell shapes. I reached in blindly and pulled one out. It was a tiny glittery silver starfish. On the back was imprinted a word:

LUCK

I bought it. Of course. Here it is, sitting with some of the shells and stones we gathered here and there on our RV journey:


I started to wonder if starfish have any sort of symbolic meaning. I Googled "symbolism of starfish" and found this:

THE STARFISH SYMBOLIZES 
INFINITE DIVINE LOVE

It can also symbolize the divine Mother, "who lovingly creates safe travel over troubled waters and is also seen as an emblem of salvation during trying times.

Now it is I who has a thing for starfish.

Before we took a jaunt to Boca Grande today, I mentioned to God that I'd like to find a little inexpensive starfish something - maybe a pin, or earrings. You know, just sayin'.

I went into a shop that was a wonderful hodgepodge of beachy home decor and men's and ladies' clothing. Way in the back was an earrings rack and these were hanging right in front, calling, "Hey Melissa! Over here! We've been waiting for you!":


They were $12.95, so I bought them. Of course.




14 comments:

  1. I was there on all mentioned occasions and she speaks the truth :>)

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  2. My mom had a thing for violets and angels. She always wore an angel pinned to her shoulder. Now she is my Angel.

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  3. That's a lovely story. I'm not being negative, just coming from another direction...My mom didn't like bananas. And she said so many people thought that was weird because "EVERYONE likes bananas!" people would say. She felt odd being the only one in the world not liking bananas. My husband and I love bananas and we always have them in the house. My son was born 2 years after my mom died and they never met. But guess what? He doesn't like bananas either. And I like that about him. :)

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    1. I think it's these quirks that make people uniquely who they are and that's what we remember when they are gone. And your son not liking bananas reminds you there is some of Mom in him there too. That's a great story.

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  4. Hi Melissa ... strange but true - as JR confirms. But coincidences do keep happening .. I don't have the connective link with my mother, other than as my mother and she's often in my thoughts ... but when I write about something, or think about doing something ... a link appears to tie things together ..

    Interesting to find out the symbolic meaning of star fish ... fun post - cheers to you both - Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary! When I found that meaning, I just smiled and thought "of course."

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  5. I loved this post on starfish. I've been thinking of my mom lately. Your post reminded me of how she collected owls and later elephants -- we always knew what to get her. I have a few of her owls and elephants. They remind me of her wisdom and strength in the face of cancer and all the other pain she endured in life. It makes me feel stronger knowing she faced it and survived, so I can, too.

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    1. Oh, Penelope, thank you so much for telling me that. Owls and elephants - wisdom and strength - yes. My husband collects elephants too. It sounds like you are going through some hard times, so I send you healing and comforting thoughts. I have a meditation from my yoga practice that you might like to use to clear your mind - it's called the Metta Meditation. Metta means lovingkindness. It goes: May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be happy. May I dwell in peace. Just lie in a comfortable position, close your eyes and repeat this to yourself. Sending you metta.

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    2. That should be May I be safe, May I be Happy, May I be healthy, May I dwell in peace.

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  6. I should be doing paperwork, or writing, or cleaning but here I am reading. and loving it. I will have to see if the Danville,IL library has either of these books. I want to enable parents with borderline reading skills to read to their kids here,these books sound like just the ticket to impact 2 generations. Thank you.
    Be glad you and spouse have chosen figurines instead of living animals.
    My passion has been white doves for many years. Recently I decided a pair of earrings just didn't cut it. I now have 4 white ring neck doves next to me, 23 white homing pigeons in the loft outside and a dove release business model to rationalize it all. White homing pigeon wheeling in the blue sky sets my spirit free but seeing them cooing and waiting for me at home gives me such complete comfort. I understand the need for home.

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    1. I am so glad you are enjoying the books and truly appreciate your support with the local library, and in spreading the word. Doves are beautiful symbols of hope, peace and love. Just beautiful.

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  7. These books sound perfect for my plan to help marginally reading parents read to their kids. Thank you.
    If the Danville,IL library doesn't have them will push to get them.
    Be glad you and spouse collect only figurines.
    I long loved doves. I now have 4 white ringneck doves next to me, 23 white homing pigeons out in the loft and white dove release business model to rationalize it all. When white pigeon wheels in the sky it is my spirit flying free. When I come home to cooing birds waiting for me I feel the deepest comfort of home.
    I am glad I found you.

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    1. Thank you so much - I would greatly appreciate your encouragement with your local library. Authors need all the support they can get. Doves are a very beautiful symbol and I can understand why they would bring you such comfort and peace.

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