2 days after I talked with Tara about writing for the Grandmother Power Campaign I learned that my grandmother died. She lived overseas most of my life so my memories are few, but they are firm. Her house is where we gathered, I remember Chinese take-out, her making my grandfather lots of tea and my great-grandmother's room in her house where game shows were promptly watched each day. She never forgot a card on a birthday or Holiday, and as someone who barely knows what day it is, this always blew me away.
I think of the grandmother as the gatherer. The one that brings everyone together, who spends time in the kitchen around the rhythm of food, who makes a feast out of nothing. My kids gather often with my mother, especially around the celebration of Holidays.
I have gathering in my female blood, the howling at the moon, wild women part of me.
I see myself as a grandmother with dreadlocks and a tattooed arm around a fire pit, gathering my women around and serving from an endless pot of stew on the fire. A grandmother that does not look like the grandmothers I know, one I vision that has been born of the choice to accept nothing less than a life full of joy. A woman who walks this earth bare foot, earthing as often as possible, and happy. Happy.
She is wild like me, impulsive, so freaking happy in her life and surrounded by people who are turned on by life. She is the evolved 38 year old me. She is the 57 year old who has added another arrow tattoo to her arm. One for each 19 years of living. She often has no idea what day it is and forgets what she went into the kitchen for... that hasn't changed!
She looks back on the year she was 38 and told her husband she wasn't happy. She remembers the moment when he said that his intention was for both of them to be happy in their lives, no matter what that had to look like. She remembers the work they did, together and separately to heal and find their happy. And only she knows what 39, 40, 41 look like. I see her smiling at me.
She remembers those moments of bravery and fear when she surprised herself with her choices. When she spoke her truth because not felt like the scariest place she could live. She knows that the awakening that came was unlike what her grandmother ever felt, or was it? What secrets and choices are inside of the pasts of our grandmothers that we will never know?
We may question the choices of the grandmothers who seemed stuck in a world not of their design, wonder if they were happy or wanted more or different. Perhaps for her speaking the truth simply meant allowing herself to be where she was. Was the gathering a joy for them or part of struggle? But no matter what, their lives had power. Different from the power we vision perhaps, but power of their choice. To be in that life. To gather. To pass down their story. To teach us to see clearly what we want.
Gathering. Choice. Power.
These are my practices. My daily meditations. I write my stories today and they link to grandmothers of past and future.
That wild woman around the fire, she has always been me. She was born when I was. We walk together. She prompts me daily to speak truth, to vision, to be of a life that I create.
As we say goodbye to my grandmother and the circle of life and passing of time continue, so too do our choices, our gatherings. Our power. We walk together in a truth that is our own. When we are ready. Ready for the change, the surrender into this moment, now. They are different stories in different times.
Gathering. Choice. Power.