In life there are things that have gotten my attention and been a constant in my life. There is something about giant pandas that has attracted me always, something deeper than the cuties they are or seem to be. I really feel as if they are more than my spirit animal. Perhaps when I was a child I did not feel it as strongly as in my teens and there forward. And I think I projected this affinity strongly when I wrote my first paper for my Human Relations class in college. My professor asked us to write an essay about an animal we felt resembled us more closely. I think I emulated the giant panda, not the other way around. How could that be? My professor seemed amazed and enthralled at my way of explaining why I chose the panda as my equal. He even brought his family to class and they all had chosen my paper as the one. Yes, from the outside and like everybody else does, I find them cute and cuddly, and even charismatic, but as you get to know more about them you grasp how they represent gentleness and strength at the same time. They are fierce, playful, noble and courageous. In the Eastern culture, the giant panda is symbol of peace and harmonious resolution of conflict. Under its soft and fuzzy appearance, it shows the importance of strong personal boundaries to feel safe and grounded in life. The message of wisdom of the panda also emphasizes the importance of feeling at ease with ourselves, whether we are alone or with other people. When John came to my life he understood and related as he has affinity with wild cats himself. It is as if we were meant to meet at this exact time and comprehend our minds without question. We are fortunate. He gets me as I get him.
On the other side I have always liked pearls. I think the white ones are beautiful but I am also attracted to the gold and also the pink ones… but wait, what about the gray ones? I am mesmerized by those although they say their meaning is not that great. I personally don’t pay attention to that. But did you know that pearls are the only jewels created by a living animal? A natural pearl of value is found in less than 1 in every 10,000 wild oysters. I like to think that I John and I are like a pearl…
The more I found out about pearls, the more I liked them. Pearls are formed inside the shell of certain mollusks as a defense mechanism against a potentially threatening irritant such as a parasite inside the shell, or an attack from outside that injures the mantle tissue. The mollusk creates a pearl sac to seal off the irritation. The quality of the nacre dictates the quality of the luster, or shine of the pearl, which is very important to its beauty and its value. So as I learned about pearls I also learned that from irritating circumstances a thing of beauty can be made. What an analogy for our own lives.
John and I have traveled together for 16 years and continue to do so. Not knowing still everything but we maintain very close, not allowing circumstances keep us apart but bring us together. We may not know everything but we do know we care for each other and how to be there for each other. I tend to think that our lives intertwines among pandas and pearls.