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Our writing group’s connection to butterflies has been abundantly documented in Farther Along. Butterflies have come to us, collectively and individually, in times of distress and need and in times of thanksgiving and joy. We welcome them gratefully whenever they might appear. Little gossamer messengers from heaven.

This fall, I went by myself to our large regional crafts fair. Exhibitors at the Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair are all respected professional artisans whose work is considered exceptional. I didn’t have anything special in mind, but always enjoy the show and the artistic creations and look forward to seeing what’s new. As I walked around and visited many booths, the pottery of Marty Biernbaum caught my eye, particularly her butterfly pieces. Marty had created beautiful bowls and vases, decorated with colorful butterflies.

I admired them all and chatted with the potter. I shared the story of the Farther Along writing group and our butterflies. It occurred to me that one of her butterfly pieces would be a perfect honorarium to our Farther Along sisters. Much to my surprise and completely unsolicited, Marty said, “I’d like to donate most of the cost of this piece.”

Can you imagine that! With all the expenses of traveling a good distance to a show, lodging and meals and exhibit fees, artists really don’t make ends meet by giving their work away. What a generous and heart-felt gesture of caring!

IMG_3272So today, lovely yellow and orange butterflies take flight in the living room of SECU Family House in Winston-Salem. Many guests are lifted up by the butterflies’ beauty when they pass by on their way to the hospital. A small plaque reads, “Marty Biernbaum, ‘Moon Shine’, Honoring Farther Along Sisters.” And fitting that it be so, since all proceeds from sales of the Farther Along book support families who are staying at the House during a medical emergency. Thank you, Marty, for being part of our continuing story and for keeping the butterflies sailing on their way.

For more about Marty Biernbaum’s work, see the Journal article about the Piedmont Craftsmen show here.