I am still young...realizing my grandfather died at 99 and my grandmother is 93...I see that I have at least two more of my lifetimes to go. And I reflect on this one that I have been gifted with...
I have learned how to walk...twice. I have grown out of the ethers magically appearing from a Universal place to a peanut into a full size human being. I have watched two boys be born to my brother, held them in my arms and watched them turn into men. I have watched three generations of Lucero's be born and am now on my third row of cousins Urribarri side. I have lived in Kauai, Maui, Big Island Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. I have crossed two borders and flown around the world.
I have gone to college, taught high school to many who have graduated college, married and now have children. I have changed careers from teacher to curriculum developer to teen center manager to editor to muralist to massage therapist to yoga instructor to ceremonialist. I have made easy money and no money. I've been in a common law marriage and had several loves of my life, each with their own unique special memories imprinted on my soul. I have self-healed from a brain tumor, manic depression, and physical traumas.
I have traveled the medicine path to come back to the belief that the best and most powerful medicine is the one of our hearts and that the medicine ways are for living this life and for learning how to sit with losing it. And, though I have feathers cool hats and crystals for my altar, I know the altar I am building is the one upon which I have placed the things that I stand for, the essence of my soul, translated into a million different acts and offerings of these hands to the healing of others. And I know that as I sit up for my grandmother, I am also sitting up for my children yet to be born.
As I submit myself to the life cycles and the passing of torches from one generation to another, that I am doing nothing special...just holding a place of remembrance, that though I am still young at nearly 40, someday...the coolest thing I will have done is made the bed myself, walked 20 feet to the bathroom and still be able to do it myself. Someday, I will have grandchildren who will tell me far off tales of places I have no frame of reference for, cannot form a mental picture of, and I will smile only at their enthusiasm and be thinking to myself...I brushed my hair on my own today...and I think it looks pretty good.
And it is small victories that color the world of my grandmother, while it is large adventures that have punctuated my life so far, mini-deaths, endings and new beginnings, that lead me to believe that while we are young it is for us to dream big, to take huge risks, to live a large life...because it is a natural fate of this life that we get smaller, simpler and the living with no regrets is the only way to settle into the deep peace of contentedness.
It is the way we continue to live in the stories that are told about our strength, faith, courage, and heart that will live long after us...and it is the way those things shape us that help us to dig deep, stand on our own two wobbly aged feet and walk, slowly as possible, to the sink where we comb our hair and look into our reflection and to know we have lived a good life.