Hello my friends, I'm back after taking a needed week of reflection, instead of having things to share or statements to make, I just wanted to go inward a bit and be rather silent. My grandmother passed away last week, and I wanted to have some time with that, reflecting on her, what I know about her and what I don't, remembering that our parents and grandparents all had lives before we even came along! I was trying to make sure I remember and honor characteristics and ways about her that were passed on to my mom, to me and my sister, and probably came from many generations before. While we are all unique, my grandmother Margaret (yes my sister is named after her) was absolutely no exception in her quirky attitude, and sometimes dark humor! My grandparents were farmers, I mean, she was dedicated and did not leave their farm - she didn't even see the ocean until recent years when my mom took her to the beach in a wheelchair! (It's a funny story, ask my mom about it when you see her!) I do think that traces of love for the earth, plant life, and animals seeped its ways down through my mom and into my being. The hardworking farming mentality clearly runs through the veins of my mother who grew up working on the farm - she cannot be tamed and spends her free time outside gardening and enjoying the fruits of that manual labor. My grandparents were of a generation and time that I cannot imagine -World War II. (I have only heard rumors about my grandfather's experiences in Germany, I wish I knew more, but we never got a chance to talk about it.) I have tried to imagine all the experiences my grandmother must have had and things she must have seen up until last week with a full life of work, farming, family, cooking (she loved cooking and was great at it!) and her art. She was an artist! I must say this because, though her work may not have been sold or in galleries, her artwork is sprinkled everywhere in the households of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She loved to paint, put household items together in the most artistic way, and she had the most beautiful handwriting! I have a lamp made out of an emu egg, a pretty red birdhouse, and a dynamic tree creation built out of alphabet blocks and other creatures-all reflections of her wild imagination! It was just in April when I last visited her, and got a chance to speak with her about what was going on in my life. She'd never said this before to me, but she said it then, that it was important to go to church, especially with your loved ones. Well, today in church we sang about freedom, and were reminded of what true freedom means. Now, I just imagine and hope that my grandmother Margaret is free-truly free to soar above this beautiful creation on which we live and join the universal master artist and creator! And that she may be honored and remembered in peace and love.