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  • Writer's pictureEllen Harris

Aging with Wisdom

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

As the months fly bye, I hear my grandmother, MaTank’s, voice in my ear. She always used to say that time passed faster as you aged. These past couple of months I’ve had mixed emotions; wanting time to slow down and speed up.

April started off with a morning walk and meditative moment down by the levee on a usual Sunday morning. Oher morning walks took place closer to home where it was easy to see deer tracks or downtown where a new restaurant’s way of giving back was a small food box attached to its front fence.

Time, also, was spent watching over seedlings in the kitchen window and on the screen porch. And as I gradually become a dog person Emi got a one-year-old birthday treat. There’s never a dull moment with her even when she’s standing guard at one of her favorite spots or barking out at the geese on the lawn.

Heavy rain during a good portion of the month caused me to have a late start planting my garden, but I got it in. Last year’s lesson learned was not forgotten and baby plants were securely covered with dense netting to protect them against critters of all sorts.

Throughout April, lots of work was done creating a 4-part Listening Lab webinar series and re-constituting a Fellows Program for non-profit work with Food First. Collaborated with some great folks, some of whom I was meeting for the first time, to get these projects off the ground.

While my energy level ebbed and flowed, I always found solace and time to reflect during those meditative moments down by the river.

In May, Emi and I made it to a special Cypress garden space near the house for a morning walk. I visited the Francis Flowers & Herbs Farm in Pickens, MS and was inspired to create an outdoor space for my ancestors. Since I was closest to my maternal side, name plates for Ruth (mother), Emma (grandmother), and Julia (great grandmother) were put in place. All this was done the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

The garden continued to grow still safely covered. But my beautiful perennial flowers, Gaura, just outside garden fence were mercilessly eaten up by the deer. To lift my spirit, I visited Robbie Pollard’s farm in Marks, MS, which was truly an inspiration. He has a beautiful place and vision for working with his community through his farm.

Experienced the power of Mother Nature in mid-May. Looking out after a tumultuous storm, it appeared as if a giant had taken a tree limb and speared the roof of the yoga pavilion. Got the hole covered by a piece of tarp, but still waiting via MS time on the contractor to come back and complete the repair.

Through dreams my paternal ancestor side reminded me that they, too, existed and that I actually had a family tree booklet from a family reunion years past that traced them back several generations. When the elders speak, you must pay attention. Surprisingly, I hadn’t paid close attention to the booklet or had forgotten the family tree lineage. I was amazed to discover that ancestors were traced back for both my paternal grandmother’s (Ellen) parents. There’s my grandmother’s mother (great grand Charity) and grandmother (great, great grand Betsy). On my grandmother’s father’s (Pleasant) side there’s Rachel (great, great grand), Minerva (great, great, great grand), and Zellean (great, great, great, great grand). Every morning, now, during my meditation, I look out and see all their names. I think about the wisdom that those women had to have had to weather the storms of slavery, Reconstruction, the Depression, Jim Crow, and so much more. Those moments help me to get through the craziness and carnage of today’s times.

I’m hopeful for June. The last poster artfully done by Benita for a wellness festival I’ve planned with my friend, Cassandra, is posted.

All the plant netting has been removed from the garden and the plants are thriving. Today, the first strawberry flower and blooms from the butterfly plant appeared.

Yes, I’ve definitely aged these last couple of months and, hopefully, gained a bit of wisdom along the way. Take care, ya’ll.

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