They say the butterfly is a symbol for many things: conscious evolution, transformation, and the personification of the human soul. But whatever it evokes for the individual, when it comes to the family, it means a bit more.
I spent a day this weekend at a reunion with dozens of my closest relatives on my maternal grandmother's side. La familia. An enormous and forever growing chain of life that itself has seen many metamorphoses as it's evolved over the years. We are a family that celebrates. We are a family ruled by women. We are a family all about life. Lives themselves, and the act of livin' it.
"The Farfalle" is a vanilla cupcake with a vanilla bean buttercream and butterfly sitting on top. My mother told me that when she thinks about the family, she sees us all dancing, and we look like a big bunch of butterflies. And you know what? I can kind of see it. Young and old, wings spread, fluttering around the room. We all become the same thing when we hit the dancefloor.
We find pictures of great aunts and see ourselves in their eyes. We hear stories about the old country, about the new country, and about how we passed between the two. Years pass, and we learn that just as we die, we are reborn. Every single person, living or dead, is locked in time as an essential link that holds the whole chain together. And that somehow helps us makes sense of everything: who we were, who we are, and who we might become.
Resurrection, rebirth, re-life. Like a butterfly, old life begets new life, and that is what family is about.