Life Living Moments – Living Life Memories
The Inuit Folktale, Two Friends, adapted and retold by Storyteller Grace Wolbrink
Starting off in life. Ohhh . . . the point of a finger . . . ahh . . . each one sparks with twinkling eyes . . . outstretched hands . . . reassuring hugs . . . gentle kisses . . . sticky fingers . . . A touch of love – A taste of life.
Growing up . . . mud puddles, snail races, skinned knees, awkward moments stuck in trees . . . Oh no, your Mom found out too? Two friends, their weddings united, they now stand; one facing east, the other facing west. Their life dreams securely planned during a time when people still filled the earth and the spirit of adventure still filled the land.
On the eve of daylight, with a musk-ox head between their hands, each friend made a cup. One cup fashioned from each horn on the same ox’s head. Goodbyes are said, not knowing when, but knowing that, someday, they too will meet again.
Traveling close to the land the two friends, in two separate directions, set out to travel the world. Being that the world is a very large place to travel and takes quite a bit of time. The two friends got older, each had children, their children had children, and their children’s children had children. The day came, on the eve of life’s twilight, the two friends, now carried by their children; meet face to face once again. Life living moments – living life memories.
According to the American Society on Aging, nearly 1 in 4 US households are caring for someone over the age of 50. Out of these households approximately 40% of these care givers are raising children and 64% are working either full-time or part-time. Care giving, caregivers, lives, coupled with life’s commitment. Yet, in the words of Pablo Casals, a world-famous cellist . . . “the capacity to care is the thing which gives live its deepest significance.”
In developing this story I found myself deeply challenged by the words of caregiver, Barbara Bernard caring for her parents, each diagnosed with a terminal illness within a week of each other. Barbra spoke about her commitment to, each day, finding ways to create memories for herself and her parents. Through creating these memories Barbra focused on life and the aspects of life that continued to bring joy to her Mother and Father. Watching the sunset while sipping coffee, feeling the fresh drops of summer rains, feeling the soft sensations of bunnies fur against one’s skin, smelling the aroma of fresh flowers or enjoying a favorite, off-season, holiday treat. “I am hopeful that whoever will be caring for me finds ways to help me seize moments in every day and create answers to the question, “What was your favorite part of the day?” (Barbara Bernard) A touch of love – A taste of life.
“The world is magnificent!” cried the two friends.
Meeting again, on the eve of life’s twilight, the two friends shared their adventures, recounted their dreams and compared the remains of their drinking horns. Yes, remains, for over the years, scratches from each friend’s cup stayed among the rocks in the streams – the place where each friend had stopped to fill their cup with water and where each one had scraped it along the river’s bottom.
They started out when they were young without children, meet again when they were old, carried by their children. Each friend now sitting side by side with one’s back to the east, the other’s to the west, they mummer, “Truly the world is magnificent.”
All rights reserved September 2010.
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