Following Anna’s death on May 24th, at 100 years of age, the deep grief I feel is blended with gratitude for the life changing gifts I received from my mentor, colleague, and friend over forty-five years. I search for ways to describe her great legacy. Attempting to do so seems a daunting task – capturing nearly eight decades of ground breaking dance, performance arts, choreography, and teaching.
How obvious it seems to me now.
Saving ourselves through right action including diet, exercise, expressing gratitude, and other positive acts, are the very same actions that improve life on our planet.
"A deep awareness of the gifts of the earth and of each other is medicine," writes Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass, Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants.
During these challenging times of planetary, political, and cultural disruption, I find inspiration in quotes. This one is from Kamala Harris’ autobiography.
“My daily challenge to myself is to be part of the solution, to be a joyful warrior in the battle for the soul of the country. My challenge to you is to join that effort. Let’s not throw up our hands when it’s time to roll up our sleeves.”
If you are noticing age related decline, then your initiation into your later years has begun. It is an invitation to rethink your life. Perhaps this re-think began during the pandemic, as mine did. Being forced to slow down, I realized how tiring it had been to keep my life in constant motion, staying up with the lifestyle a younger me had chosen.
In 2020, with the closure of gyms, many people switched to walking. Even hard core exercisers learned to love walking, one male writer dubbing it “the superior form of exercise”. Walking is Covid-safe, hassle free, and expands to fit the time you have. Fitness, therapy, entertainment, and transportation rolled into one.
As I watched Greta Thunberg in conversation with the Dalai Lama last weekend, I heard him say “Our enemy is our greatest teacher.” Although I’ve heard this before, it struck deeply.
My mind leaped to the news reports of our county’s political convulsions, violent images, bodies clashing.
I feel a visceral reaction – confusion, anxiety, anger. Washington, D.C. is my home town.