I recently returned from time spent with my three grandsons. What a delightful time it was, and with each smile, giggle and game I was reminded of what truly matters most in this life.
On my late night drive home from the airport I was listening to a wonderful radio program about different Native American tribes and their customs, especially the role of women. The report emphasized that many tribes were egalitarian and women were honored for their power and wisdom. Women had an honored voice as peace-keepers, and the role of the grandmother was a special one… to teach joy.
With the images of my grandbabies floating in my memory bank and the sounds of their voices lingering in my heart I feel confidant that I fulfill this role for them. I am their playmate, their soft place to land, the one who plays hide-and-seek and draws silly pictures, the one who plays pirates and sings to them. I have story lines on my face and hands that they love to explore. No question is off limits. We have deep conversations over ice cream, and I am willing to go on the slide at the park. We walk, we talk, we bounce, and we hug. We sing, rock, and I make up bedtime stories. They sing along with my version of â€œTwinkle, Twinkle Little Star.â€ I am the first one to volunteer to change a diaper or wipe a bottom, for my love is unconditional. I treasure the intimacy… the in-to-me-see that evolves in this moment-by-moment living. It feels so good to give love, and be loved so much. Joy describes the aura of who we are when we are together and the magic connection that fills out hearts and comforts us when we are apart.
After departing the hurried pace of the LA area, gracefully enduring a delayed and very full flight, and leaving behind the Seattle traffic I felt ease embrace me as I crossed the Hood Canal Bridge that links a busy form of civilization to the peace and slow pace of the Olympic Peninsula I call home, and my heart remains with them. Their faces and the sound of their voices rest in my heart.
So if I ever wonder what my purpose is in life all I need do is remember that I stand on the shoulders of the ancestors and elder women peace-keepers of the great northwest. I am Grandma Tutu, wise woman, doula for living each moment fully, and tender crone who prepares the path for future generations. I love big and I teach joy.