The butterfly. A seemingly delicate creature, yet emblematic of powerful transformations. Have you ever wondered why a butterfly graces the logo of The Wild Berry Salon? Sit with me for a spell, and I’ll unravel the tapestry of life experiences and heartfelt memories that have woven this symbol into the fabric of our identity.

A Grandmother’s Gift

Years ago, when my granddaughter Zepplyn was just 3 years old, I sent her a butterfly kit in Michigan, where she lived with my daughter Charlena. Together, they watched in awe as caterpillars spun themselves into chrysalides and eventually burst forth as resplendent butterflies. Ah, the marvels of metamorphosis! Over the years, I have repeatedly used this metaphorical teaching moment to emphasize the cycles of life and transformation.

The Family Crest

One day, Zepplyn, in her youthful wisdom, remarked, “Grandma, the butterfly is our family crest, don’t you think?” I couldn’t help but agree. To celebrate, I designed T-shirts for a Led Zeppelin tribute band concert that featured her name alongside the famed logo of the band, elegantly adorned with—you guessed it—a butterfly.

The Spiritual Symbology

The butterfly became more than just a family crest or a teaching tool. I often told Zepplyn that when you encounter a butterfly—or a mysterious, lone feather—it signifies a visit from a departed loved one. And over the years, the Monarch butterfly, in particular, has woven itself intricately into the fabric of our lives, thanks to my annual Mother’s Day gift to Charlena: the milkweed plant. This humble plant has the unique honor of being the only host for the Monarch butterfly. Today, Charlena’s garden teems with milkweed and has given birth to countless Monarchs.

The Piercing Loss and a Divine Sign

Then came the unfathomable loss—my youngest son, Shaun Joseph, left us far too soon due to an accidental overdose of Valium laced with Fentanyl. In a surreal twist of fate or divine orchestration, the funeral home we were guided to was named ‘Monarch Funeral Home.’ The name left us awestruck, as if Shaun himself had reached out from the ether to remind us that even in moments of profound sorrow, signs of enduring love can manifest.

A Tribute and a Legacy

As a tribute to Shaun and as a gesture of gratitude to those who supported us through that unbearable time, we gave away milkweed plants and seeds during the service. My roommate Jennifer presented us with butterflies to release, as a final, ephemeral farewell. In the weeks that followed, we received calls filled with stories of milkweed plants flourishing, and the cycle of life continued with hundreds of new Monarchs taking wing.

So, you see, the butterfly that rests gently beside The Wild Berry Salon name is far more than a mere decoration. It embodies our family’s history, our resilience through profound transformations, and above all, our never-ending cycle of love.

Dear friends, if you decide to get a milkweed plant and contribute your own chapter to this wondrous story of transformation and rebirth, make sure to let me know how your plants do, and may your own transformations be just as beautiful.

With all my love and gratitude,
Annie Berry

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