August 1, 2010

The Bluebird of Happiness

Both Buttonwillow and I have whiled away many happy hours watching birds. Bluebirds can be seen in Oregon, but alas, they usually stay on the other side of the Cascade mountains, so we are still waiting to add "bluebird" to our sightings lists...

One of my happiest memories is that of becoming a Bluebird when I was seven. A Bluebird was the junior version of a Camp Fire Girl. When we were young, my little sister and I mostly had home-made clothes and once or twice a year we would get to pick out a store-bought dress from Sears & Roebucks or J.C. Penneys. I'll always remember the thrill of the day my Mom took me to Buffums, the department store where RICH people shopped. There we bought an official red and blue Bluebird vest and a jaunty blue cap with the bluebird insignia on it, both of which I treasured for my entire two-year hitch as a Bluebird.

There was also a sparkling glass display case at Buffums filled with accessories and treasures adorned with the bluebird insignia, but those would have to wait for birthdays or Christmastime. At some point I acquired a beautiful little enamel bluebird pin which I proudly wore on m
y vest, and which I happily rediscovered just a few years ago, stashed away in an old jewelry box.

Another happy memory is my very first theater experience: a Bluebird troop field trip to a small theater house to see a matinee of the play "The Bluebird". It was originally written in the early 1900s by Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard, Count Maeterlinck, and involves a brother and sister, a fairy, a bluebird, and some profound ideas about happiness and the pursuit of it, which my Mom had to explain to me afterward.

Thanks to her explanation, I still know that my happiness does not depend on whether or not I ever actually see a bluebird. Happiness is all of the beautiful birds I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy watching in the pursuit of some day catching a glimpse of a bluebird. Better yet, happiness was g
etting to BE a Bluebird, and still being one in my memories and in my heart.

But try telling that to Buttonwillow. She's convinced that simply eating a bluebird might be the true road to happiness. Sigh.

One of my favorite parts of being a Bluebird was getting to do Arts and Crafts almost every week. And I'm still at it! Here is one of my latest glass pendant designs featuring you-know-what! It's available in my Etsy Shop at this link: Bluebird of Happiness Pendant.

1 comment:

Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors said...

yes, I was a brownie, never heard of a bluebird (as a girl club) until many years later. Some of our family's close friends were Irish from Ireland, so the idea of being a brownie was rather enchanting to me. The reality, of course, was rather different. i remember making pasta necklaces and tamborines out of 2 paper plates with beans inside...

but your pin is adorable