Shinazy honoring the a good life of her female relatives
Coming from a long line of amazing women, I know the history of my great, great, grandmothers. Over 6 generations, from these grand gals through to my daughter and niece, our stories have one thing in common: A knack to live a good life.
Each of us stumbled upon something we claimed as our own. Something to express a desire, a passion, a need. Something where we stepped back and exhaled an “Ahh”, aware of internal warmth, reminiscent of the sun shining on our face as it does on the first day of Spring.
For my great grandmother, Grammy, her Something was her fairy-tale garden where she painted the landscape with trellises of ever blooming fragrances. Here she constructed a wishing well and a pond surrounded by plants of exotic shapes.
My grandmother Nana grew rows of tulips and hedges of roses from every Mother’s Day floral bouquet she received. These were gardens where dandelions swirled and kept floating as if they knew their home was elsewhere.
Other women of my family sewed garments, created jewelry, restored vintage stain-glass, or baked pies. Many traveled, attended classes, and wrote stories. Some lived the word ‘dilatant’ and moved from passing inquisitiveness to fleeting curiosity. And still others sat on the back porch with a bowl of green beans in their lap. A good life, that Something, came in many forms and either changed or hibernated with time.
Over time, decades of time, Aunty Flo returned to her Something. To advance her career in the business world she stopped being a professional Hula dancer. Upon retiring, she felt dance calling again. She told me, at age 75 she walked into a studio, closed her eyes and saw herself as the young girl in the hand-made grass skirt. Although, during the later lessons she struggled to rise from deep dips, for her to live a Good Life she had to dance.
When I talk of a Good Life I repeatedly use the word ‘nature’. If I’m in the concrete city too long I yearn for the freedom of life without walls. Being outside rejuvenates me. When I connect with nature, I’m in harmony with . . . Every thing. I see solutions and make corrections before I’m in too deep. By the time my head touches my fluffed pillow I’m already dreaming. Basically, I’m aware of my senses and all they offer.
Today, our senses offer us the Good Life. Enjoy!
photos by family member & jim johnson
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