We are always told to learn from the past, live for today, and plan for the future. Many of us try to live by this inspiration expression, but find ourselves lost in the shadows of today’s spitfire attitudes, diverse beliefs, and sunken heritage. I believe it is important, if not mandatory, for people of all ages to listen. The act of shutting your mouth and opening your ears is quite a task for some, yet a task that’s worth your next breath. One of my most enduring conversations of wisdom comes from the lips of someone who’s been through life’s tribulations. She grew up during the Depression, a time when life’s fruits turned rotten and monetary value was replaced by family values of trust, harmony, and hardship.
My grandma, Evelyn Wikman, has set forth a cornerstone of rich memories into my mind. She’s built, crafted, and sewed the people around her together with her stern voice of reason. She may not offer you the best advice for making an investment into the stock market, decipher the techno-lingo blasted across business journals, or point you in the right direction for cellular phone service, but she brings back a missing link to today’s culture – the link of reality.
Evelyn speaks of bounty. Her harvests are tailor-made from the seed she plants in the spring and reaps her cherished rewards during the fall. She’s truly a garden of knowledge that has cultivated a new frame of thinking for a different generation of people. The rows of her plots stretch beyond the horizon. Over the past 10 years of ingesting her advice, I am finally able to see her vision. There are three distinct riches of life, family, attitude, and the return on investment of Mother Nature.
Family is the most prized possession of our life. These are individuals that create a sense of unity. They’re partners to help, friends to aid, and people to turn to when things flip. Many of us deviate from the ones we so dearly love due to gross reasons. Money, greed, and selfishness are the factors that perish any lasting impression of growth we may find in life. Grandma has taught me that building everlasting bonds with family is the chief principle to living a fulfilled life.
Attitude is what we wake up to and go to bed with day-in-and-day-out. It’s a self-inflicting nest that our personality calls home. There aren’t many days when I enter my grandma’s kitchen to a grumbling elder. She is as illuminant as the morning sun and as jolly as St. Nick. Attitude is the driving force for happiness, content, and satisfaction. My grandma praises that boasting a positive attitude is age’s prescription to tacking-on more years to your life. I see it glowing in her eyes each time I sit next to her.
Lastly, the return on investment of Mother Nature is the ending to my beginning. From the countless seeds of sweet corn to the endless nurturing of growth, grandma knows best when it comes to reaping rewards. She’s lived a life based of yields. Feeding her children and family was the primary staple of existence. The grueling hours spent bent over with dirty knees, nourishing the soon to be riches that will be picked to support fruitful days to come. These are the true monuments of living.
Evelyn Wikman may not be a notable historian, memorable individual to the vast population, nor someone to feature front page on the Sunday Journal... but to me, she’s my most inspirational person I know. The life lessons grandma taught may not have been directly initiated toward any specific person, it’s simply the way she lives, the memories she creates, and the moments that people like myself, will never forget. I truly believe we all must stop from time to time and listen to those who bridge together the hidden meanings of life.
Finally, I can honestly say, I really do know my grandma.