Isn't THAT Interesting! | Celebrate What's Right With the World
Isn't THAT Interesting!
by Lauri Gwilt
April 28, 2018 - 3:38pm

It occurred to me the day I met Lou that this might be a ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ kind of experience. I wasn’t wrong.

On a hot summer afternoon in July, I drove to Lou’s house for our first scheduled visit. My new 83-year-old spitfire friend greeted me at the door, and then promptly led me into her ‘conversation room’. We walked to the middle of the room where six high-backed rocking chairs were strategically positioned around a large circular coffee table. The fact that she had a room dedicated specifically for conversation - that wasn’t the dining room or the living room - was instantly intriguing.  I could almost feel the residual energy left by the previous conversations that had unfolded around this circle. I selected my chair across from hers and remember hoping I had the good sense to listen far more than I spoke.

Once settled, we sat in silence for a good thirty seconds or so. Gently rocking back and forth she tilted her head back against the rocker and looked up at the ceiling.  “Life is a grand adventure…” she finally offered with a look of pure, unbridled energy in her eyes. “Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.”

I spent the next few hours listening to story after story of her grand adventures.

Lou (short for Louise) became a pilot in the 1940’s, had been married four times, and had raised two children. Born in the United States she’s also called home to Africa, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Canada, and more. She’s an accomplished harpist, having learned to play in her sixties, and has stories upon stories of her extensive world travel. What I quickly came to understand though, is that some of the most profound travel she’s undertaken – has been with her mind.

Lou possesses an insatiable hunger for learning. The only thing in Lou’s home that outnumbers her stories, are her books. Shelf after shelf, wall after wall, room after room, of books. To say she is well-read is an understatement of epic proportions. Her thirst for knowledge isn’t reserved for the classics or any particular topic or time period – she greets all learning with open, receptive arms.

Whenever Lou finishes a story, or exploring a particular idea, she has a habit of saying, “Isn’t THAT interesting!” For me, this has become much more than an expression. It’s one of the best ways to describe Lou and how she has chosen to approach the art of living. She’s interested. She’s curious. She’s eager, engaged, and excited about what she finds. She is a lifelong student of…everything.   

We finished our afternoon with a guided tour of her home, which was like taking a trip around the world in sixty minutes. Each room was bursting with furniture, keepsakes, and books – each one containing a story from a far-off land. The room that captured my special attention, however, was her office.

After touring rooms filled with cultural treasures from around the globe, there sitting in her office was a shiny, white, (kick-ass, I might add) Mac computer with an impressively large flat screen monitor. Not what I expected from this 5’1”, silver-haired, 83-year-old. When I asked her about it she said, “Oh yes, I call him Tiger. He helps me find lots of things, like the new house I found for Norm and me on Kijiji.”

Words escaped me. I just smiled, and stood in awe of this wonderfully awake human before me.

I've gained a profound appreciation for Lou’s approach to learning in general, but in particular for her willingness to learn about current technology, an area so many of us can feel intimidated by.  

I came away that day wholeheartedly subscribing to Lou’s unshakable belief that life is a grand adventure, if we choose to see it that way. Being engaged, curious, and excited about the world around us - at its very core - is the art of celebrating what’s right with the world.  

What if each of us took a page out of Lou’s book, and approached our lives in a similar way…wouldn’t THAT be interesting?

 

*Illustration by Lauri Gwilt

 

Lynne Hannon April 30, 2018 - 7:56am

Love this, Lauri.  Thank you for sharing this inspiring story.

It was literally my pleasure, Lynne! Thank YOU for taking a moment to offer such encouraging words!

Sherrinon April 30, 2018 - 9:40am

Thanks for such a lovely snapshot into one woman's life - her curiosity and excitement for life leave me feeling inspired! Thanks Lauri and Lou!

I couldn't have said it better myself, Sherrin! Her curiosity and excitement are such a refreshing example of what's possible when we turn our attention away from what's not working in our lives, or the world. Not to say we don't acknowledge those things, but the power we gain from shifting our energies to what's right is one of the most valuable shifts we could ever make. Thank you so much for taking a moment to comment...I am SO appreciative of the encouragement!

Barb Bozzoon May 1, 2018 - 5:54pm

Thanks, my friend, for brightening my day by introducing me to Lou and her insatiable quench for knowledge!  It is one thing to be well-read in the field of Fiction and Fantasy, but it seems like she is totally worldly in so many ways, as she embraces and seeks knowledge in all areas of growth.  I too fell in love with her when you took us into her "conversation room" with the comfort of rocking chairs and the circular venue where everyone is equal and encouraged to be "a part of" the moment.  I compared her philosophy of finding everything "interesting" with Dewitt's of finding everything "celebratory".  Both are so similar in that there is a concentration on the positive instead of the negative.  In today's new feeling that "all news is fake news" how can anyone learn and grow.  I sense that Lou is one of those who has so many facts in her head already that she knows what to believe.  You know that I spend most of my time in front of my computer, yet I do feel like I treat Life as a Grand Adventure each time I read all of the amazing posts from all around the world on our Celebrate Page.  Thanks for making me realize that we can connect with others in so many different ways.  And connecting with you is a special treat!  (by the way - a perfect animation for your blog)

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