I’ll never forget how my Grandma never spoke down to me or discounted me. Not only was she my grandma, she was also my main parental influence and from a very early age I thought of her as my best friend. From the time I can remember, she encouraged, supported and valued my thoughts and feelings.
Having that unconditional love that was consistent was key to my survival during my early years. With someone I could trust completely, confide in and share my dreams with, without question or ridicule it was so pure, so motivating and reassuring.
I truly feel we need to share these stories of our elders, how they’ve impacted our lives, and how we honour them and secure their words of wisdom within our growth. We should also never forget our child within.
So many elders in life have been a foundational influence and now as a grandparent, I hope with all my heart that I can be ‘Grandma Lillie’ wise.
If you are reviewing life as you see time speeding by, as I am, you may relate immediately to what I’m sharing. If not, your time is coming. We can’t walk back, we can always move forward.
I observe children because they bring such insight, pure reaction, and immediate innocence of joy for the most simple things with authentic honesty in their personalities. I realize once again how much we can learn from them if we just listen and embrace their sweet wisdom.
Walking through the BC Ag Expo in Barriere over the weekend was another lesson in the value of children’s views. As young Dax Bouwmeester walked his market lamb out of the ring with his brother Kees during Monday’s auction I heard pure joy in his words as he exclaimed, “I get to keep my lamb!” A buyer purchased the lamb during the auction and then gave him the lamb back. Dax was overjoyed and it made his day – the light showed on his face as he stopped every youngster in his path leaving the ring to tell them about this amazing reward.
If only we, as adults, took a moment to relish even the smallest rewards as we did when we were children.
I continue to learn from my own grandchildren every time I speak to them, hug them, talk to them about their perceptions and ask what they think about what’s going on in the world. They are ‘books’ of knowledge, still in process and writing their own stories.
We can take a page out of their books – if we just remember to listen and embrace those joyful, simple experiences in life.
A new Simpcw First Nations friend, recently shared with me that she often just goes out into nature when things become overwhelming and allows ‘mother earth’ to cleanse her thoughts and spirit. Watching children this weekend as they wandered outside finding places to play outside of the agriplex, brushing their steers, lambs and horses, I realized something kin to this way of finding peace at the moment. Off on their own, intent on only their relationship with the animal or being outside for a few moments of peace.
So, today I’ll try to remember to find the joyful moments, no matter how small, and then share them along the way. Eyes wide open. Ready to take a few breaths to ‘cleanse’, calm and renew with the memory of the child within.
Thankful for the children in our lives – our joyful teachers, fearless inspectors of life and resilient adventurers. It’s a pretty great world when you see things through their eyes.