Marya Hayes and her family are enjoying a themed table setting each month. Currently they're learning about the significance of the peacock.
Starting on a light note, my teen children came for a day visit, and we had a bit of fun with a new experiment! The children had been working hard at school for the past couple of weeks and having some personal difficulties, so a day of fun and pampering was in order. We had a water balloon fight a couple weeks ago for my birthday. That was our first time with hundreds of balloons, lots of delightful screams, and running around. This week I had a new plan.
The fires here in California have made running around almost impossible, but this game did require some running. We started with several packs of cello sponges, cutting them each in four long strips, and tying them into balls of 15 strips each. (Yes it takes a lot of sponges) We went to the local park with seven buckets of water and our sponge bombs. Each player got two bombs. We allowed each person to only refill at their own bucket of water. Each player got to throw their bombs until they ran out of water, or their bomb disintegrated.
We weren’t sure how well this would work, how wet we would get, or how much the bombs would hurt. I have to say this turned out way better than expected! After all the water games, the children took the remaining water to the park slide, and made a water slide out of it! Additional fun I hadn’t even planned on. The park was empty and almost dark so we didn’t interrupt anyone else.
For adult fun, my husband and I like to design homes, watch home shows, and imagine a life where we could afford to build a dream home. This is a shared creative fantasy time; we spend Saturday mornings making drawings and capturing elements of our dream home. Last weekend, we decided that instead of designing a prayer space in the home, we would build a chapel on site. As we started to learn about each other’s preferences for altars, stained glass windows, flooring, and church doors, we also got into a discussion about the peacock artwork that I would want to include. He was unaware of the Christian symbol of the peacock and its origins. I figured I would share that with you now.
Ancient peoples believed that the peacock skin defied decay after death. This led people to believe that they were immortal, and became symbols of immortality in ancient art. Later for Christians, peacocks also represented the immortality offered by our life in heaven. In addition, the eyes on the feathers reminded Christians of the all-seeing eye of God.
As the peacock grows, it sheds its old feathers every year and grows ever more brilliant replacements. This is the reminder that in Christ, the Resurrection is a more glorious new life in heaven for immortal souls in the state of grace. I read later that the peacock can be compared to a Christian because from the outside in a crowd of birds or humans, you would not notice much difference between Christians and non-Christians, peacocks or other birds. It is not until the soul of a grace-filled Christian is revealed that you see its splendor. It is not until the peacock spreads it’s fan of feathers that it’s beauty is undeniably magnificent. This is the hidden life of a Christian and a peacock. Something beautiful is within: the Holy Spirit, or iridescent feathers of blue and green respectively. If a peacock is seen drinking water from a vase in the depiction, it is interpreted as Christians drinking the waters of eternal life.
In order to keep family meals special, I have adopted the practice of one table setting theme each month. This month I decided it would be appropriate to make peacocks the theme and topic of discussion for everyone’s edification.
I may never have the chance to build a dream home in this life, but to imagine a building a dream mini-church with all its sacred meaning is a holy endeavor. At this point, the peacock themed dinner table will have to do.
Copyright 2020 Marya Hayes
Images copyright 2020 Marya Hayes. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Married to her longtime friend and mommy to 3 high energy children, who demand her constant attention, and direction, Marya serves on the board of directors for a Domestic Violence non-profit. When not working, she is working out, taking the family for nature walks and adventures, or at the movies. She lives in Southern California and feels absolutely blessed to enjoy the beauty of the area every day.