I love singing. I have performed for hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands over my 35-year career. It’s what I’m made for, it’s my mission, it’s my church. Music is holy and Universal, powerful for the brain, for Society, for Evolution. It’s the saving grace of the human race, a world of its own. Music is a place, as real as any other, and I have always had one foot in that world. It has saved me countless times and brings me a sense of bliss and freedom and community that I can only express by singing it to you. But, that has been eclipsed by something else.
I WAKE UP SMILING EVERY DAY. Why? Because I look to my right and there is a bonafide angel face sleeping next to me. Solara Blaze Viqueira. Not only is this 3-year-old my best friend and my favorite person in the world, but she is my Granddaughter. My Granddaughter, what a concept. It seems like last week I had my kids, Ursula, and Monique, who are now women. And now they’re having kids. Any fear of dying has gone out the window. I get it now, this is immortality. We are the same, only they are the new model; made up of me, plus many others. I realize that all of my ancestors are now her ancestors plus all of her father’s ancestors. Amazing when you think about it. It takes a lot of people to make up one, and each generation has more. I fill her up with all I have learned. I love her up, because I know that Love is the fabric of the Universe. I give her the gift of books, and music, the arts and sciences. She tromps through the woods with me, fearless, excited, adventuring in a Natural World that she rightfully feels completely at home in. Everything is wonderful to her. I love looking at the world through her eyes, remembering what it’s like to see, to really see. Oh, I get it. I feel like a kid again. I peel back the layers of jadedness, of apathy, of taking anything for granted. I take nothing for granted now. Especially her.
The art of grand parenting. I feel especially happy that we all live together. I can’t imagine being a distant Grandma, not for me. She is my compatriot, my sidekick. I can take her to gigs, she’ll dance all night. I can take her to the studio, to the store, to the forest behind our house. Anywhere I go, she goes, it’s magic. She likes everyone. And I think that this is how we learn to be, to adapt to all situations. The house is part chalkboard (The stairwell is a dark charcoal paint covered in ever changing art practice), part music room (Grand Piano, electric pianos, guitars, hand drums and percussion), part Science lab (“cooking” potions is a favorite), part spa (long bath times for Barbie’s and mermaids). All play. All day.
What we now know about play and invention is its effect on the brain and cognitive function. All these creative endeavors, these endless hours of what my mom would call A Rich Inner Life, actually are preparing us for life and learning and adapting and survival. We are made to play, and create. I thought I knew that already, but I have really had an epiphany watching this in action. Our setting up the house and grounds as adventures available to the children has actually had an unexpected beneficial effect on me. I am content. I am happy. I walk around noticing how happy I am. That may sound simplistic to you, but I know the difference. There have been times in all of our lives where we feel so down, so stressed out, hand wringing, gut wrenching. Sometimes these periods could last for years. I don’t ever feel like that anymore. I know the answer. I learned it from a three-year-old.
See the world as a child would. Brand new. Forget the past, it does not exist, let it go. It’s never too late. Flowers are beautiful. It’s never too late to say you’re sorry, or to write your book, or to say, “I love you”. Everything is beautiful if you just look at it without expectation. Read lots of books. Nature is your friend, go out there and hang out. Every person you meet is awesome until proven otherwise. Say Hi a lot. Cry if you’re sad, smile for no reason whatsoever, and eat messy things, ‘cause you can always take a bath with Barbie later.
coming soon, A story about Granddaughter #2 !!