This pataki (sacred story) started way before my time…had to have been late winter, sometime in February 1984. In this moment, the eldest living member of my bloodline is a Queen of the Sun. I am Leo, like she. As family history goes, she took one look at my mother and told her I was coming, and that was that.
As spoken, I came the day before her solar return. I consider myself her birthday gift. Well into her 90’s, she never lost her fire. Never. I mean, she has the kind of fire that kept her driving cars and selling candy well into her 90’s. She birthed 7 naturally and mothered all generations to follow. I love our conversations about food, wisdom, and life. During one of these conversations, I asked her what her secret was to long life. She laughed and said,
“Well, love the Lord, do right by folks, mind ya own business, have a good time, love yourself, and don’t take too much too personally.”
I stayed quiet for a moment, waiting for the secret herbal tonic, or the diet plan, you know…the rest of it. I asked “That’s it?”
“What else ya’ lookin’ for?” She asked.
I commenced to call myself educating my great aunt about hybrid foods, Monsanto, and such, and she laughed again. “Oh Gul, they been calling theyself puttin’ stuff in the food since I was your age….” she said. “Why you think you got an a$% whuppin” for eating food without saying grace first? Gul bless whatcha got, eat it, and go on!”
In that moment, I received one of many jewels of wisdom from Great Aunt. I realized that much of our modern-day knowledge and scientific pontification was everyday common sense to our elders. Her long living was from her heart and spirit, and she leaves the rest to divine flow. Noted.
I take this time and space to honor one of the Queen Mothers of my family in the season of our birth, as well as to encourage all that read this to grasp the wisdom of your eldest living tribe members.
Ase in Love,
iiiYansaje T. Muse