Gloriously Transported | Celebrate What's Right With the World
Gloriously Transported
by Lauri Gwilt
July 15, 2017 - 9:24am

Ever so slowly she entered the room with the aid of a walker, wearing a vibrant red and white muumuu, complete with a kitschy straw hat and festive yellow lei.

Her companions were well-versed in the routine, and headed straight to the front of the room to position her chair to face the audience. The room was filled with tourists and locals alike, all eagerly awaiting the “Aunties of Molokai” who gathered every Friday night with their ukuleles to play the old Hawaiian songs. With purpose, she settled into her seat, gracefully raised her arms, artfully positioned her hands, and within the first few notes of the song she was already lost in the rhythm - dancing the sitting hula.

It was a privilege to watch. The look in her eyes, and the expression on her face was of pure, uninhibited joy; she had gloriously transported to her happy place, and had taken those of us who were watching, right along with her.

I was mesmerized by her. I wondered how long it had been since she was able to stand to perform these gentle Hawaiian stories. With every song, she appeared to become more and more connected to the moment; her movements and the music seemed to have become one. The tears rolled down my cheeks with their own kind of rhythm - I couldn't stop photographing her. The essence of joyful living was being performed before me, and I had a front row seat.

After an enchanting evening of music, some coconut shrimp and a little cavorting with the locals, it was time for me to call it a night. On my way to the car, who was sitting on a bench waiting for her escort, but my favorite Auntie. I paused for a moment and took the opportunity to thank her for giving us all the privilege of watching her dance. She invited me to sit down beside her.

I had a thousand questions jostling for position my head, but the one I wanted to know most of all was about her story… and as graciously as she danced, she offered it to me.

She grew up on Molokai. She’s outlived two husbands, as well as some of her children. She still lived on her own, and except for the period of time she was recovering from her stroke, she has come to dance every Friday night. "As long as there's someone who's willing to bring me, I'll be here", she said.

From our few moments on the bench together it was easy to see that this wise woman had lived a full-color life - with the kinds of the lights and shadows, joys and sorrows that a full life has to offer. "I don't know why I'm still on this earth after all that's happened", she offered, "but as long as I am, I may as well do the things that make me happy."

And there it was. The gold nugget. The night’s true take-away.

Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be celebrated. She’s seen her share of losses, and her body doesn’t move the way it used to, but she still finds a way to dance, because it brings her joy.

Who knows why any of us are still here - at any age. But as long as we are, we’d be wise to take a page out of this Auntie's book. Paint, play, build, sing, travel, garden, photograph, ride, converse – whatever those things are that allow us to be gloriously transported to our happy places, it’s important to make the time to do them. It’s one of the ways we take care of ourselves, which in turn gives us the energy to serve those around us. Finding ways to do the things that make us happy in and around life's bumps and hurdles is a choice that honors this gift we’ve been given.

Life’s too short to choose otherwise.

And it’s one of the best ways I can think of to celebrate all that's right with my world.

Jameson July 16, 2017 - 7:59am

Simply beautiful. And profoundly speaks of the Innate Wisdom and Beauty within each and every Woman. Bravo, and thank you for sharing this touchingly inspiring experience, Lauri.

Thank you so much for taking a moment to offer such kind and encouraging words James! It's encounters like this one that help to shape us into the people we want to be!

Maryon July 16, 2017 - 8:21am

I feel a sense of gratitude glorified after reading this beautiful and heartwarming story. It manifests one of life's truths. And that is to live a life full heartedly and worth celebrating so that you can best serve all those around you.

Mary, I could not agree with you more! To live full-heartedly and in celebration is a conscious choice, and not always an easy one when life slides a bit sideways. But the more we take care of ourselves, the more we have to give. Thank you so much for taking a moment to offer such uplifting words!

Brendaon July 16, 2017 - 10:06am

Beautifully written and thank you for stirring my heart to
self care and do the things that bring meaning and joy
to our lives!

"Stirring my heart to self-care"...what WONDERFUL words Brenda! Thank you for taking a moment or two to offer them!

Ginny Gon July 16, 2017 - 1:07pm

The story tells it all so beautifully. The only response from me is AMEN....and THANK YOU for this example..I will keep it in my soul and try to emulate the beauty within HER soul and spirit.

Emulate...that's the perfect word to describe our opportunity when people like this wise woman cross our paths. Each encounter like this shapes us into the people we hope to become. Thank you so much Ginny for taking a moment to offer such encouraging words.

Barb Bozzoon July 16, 2017 - 10:38pm

I love how you captured the essence of this magnificent woman in your image. She is proof that "attitude " means so much and how this attitude can effect the lives of people you come in contact with! How awesome to be in her presence and capture the magic of her aura! What a marvelous role-model for the blessings that come from truly living each moment to the fullest!!

Barb you have such skill in capturing the essence of what others attempt to express. As was my experience with this wonderful auntie, your words are always wise. Our attitudes most definitely affect those around us, even in those moments we're unaware of it. When this auntie was lost in the music and transported to her happy place, I felt her joy, which means I experienced an emotional benefit from what she was feeling. I suppose that means it goes the other way too. Sometimes I think we forget how others are affected by the attitudes and feelings we have - we're under the illusion that if they're inside us they're only ours to manage. Not so, and ever more reason to consciously feed ourselves with good food, people, activities, and information that put us in a state of well-being that positions us offer our best attitudes to those around us. Thanks for adding another layer to the discussion Barb!

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