Connecting with our elders and ancestors

ancient window opening
I wonder who made this window opening, and when. And I also wonder why the more recent generation hasn’t bothered to restore the window properly…but then again, it makes a great photo. (photo credit: Job de Vries)

 

I recently turned 42.
Playfully, I was swapping the numbers around, in order not to feel so old, and looked at ’24’. Would I rather be 24 now than 42? Absolutely not. I did enjoy the exciting change of scenery, from Finland to London, UK and all the fun and input my new surroundings had to offer. But…that was then, this is now, and I do enjoy the wisdom I’ve gathered along the way. I wouldn’t want to miss a single lesson, realisation, reflection or impression, positive or negative. They form my understanding of Life in this moment, and I am grateful for all of it.

Logically, my train of thought runs forward to the next question. How will I see myself at 42, looking back, from the age of 60? Or 84? If I’ve learned this much about Life so far, how much more will I understand of it at a higher age, when I’m an elder in this society?

I have a dear friend, who is 44 years senior of me. We talk about all aspects of life.
She takes joy in recognising a younger version of herself in me, and I’m grateful for the lovingly offered warnings and advice I get from her. Sometimes (often) I think I’m progressing too slowly. From her, more experienced point of view, I’m often trying to push things through way too fast.

Listening to her, I learn to have far more compassion for our elders than I had before. It isn’t easy to have a wild soul in a senior body. She would want to dance, work in the gardens and more – she does as much as she can, but it doesn’t really quench the inner thirst for more. Listening to her telling about her life I can feel the passionate emotions, positive and negative, and hear how wisely she has found a place for even the most difficult things.

Find yourself an elderly friend, it’s so much worth it.

I should find myself a very young friend as well, there’s much to learn that way too.

*

And now, the ancestors. I used to be quite oblivious to the whole concept of my own ancestors. I was too busy falling in love and being a mother, gardening and making plant allies. Even now I’m just a novice to the matter. But I got a very strong kick on the butt in that direction, and now I’m listening. (I don’t even have questions yet, I’m just listening). And what I’m hearing is this:

“Make connection with your ancestors. Feel the direct love from your grandparents, they treasure the promise for the future you bring. Trace back the wonderful lineage of people who met, felt passionately, nurtured and taught – without them, you wouldn’t be here now. You don’t have to know them – you can – but feel the respect as you follow the lineage back in history.
As you arrive at the pre-industrial revolution time, start to listen very closely to the wisdom of your ancestors. What they tell you about the land, the plant allies, animal friends, their connection with the sun, the seasons, the weather… Their gratefulness for the warmth, nourishment and shelter their immediate surroundings offered them. Their connection to all that lives.”

This is what I hear. Your received message is probably different. Try it out!

I’m very aware that living in these days is far more easy and comfortable than, say, in the Middle Ages. But along the way, we’ve also lost something vital. Our connection to the land.

Where does your food come from? Your clothes? Who made the furniture in your home? Think about it, trace back energy lines and see where they take you. If you like them, great! If you don’t, consider doing something about it. You can always choose, even a little nudge in the right direction is towards better.

Keep listening. Looking. Connecting. And nudging.

 

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