I have always been told that if someone speaks to me in the language I understand, he/she speaks to my mind but when he/she speaks to me in my own language, he/she speaks to my heart. I then connect to a deeper level with that person and the relationship between the two of us flourishes.
Towards the end of each month, my neighbour collects his octogenarian mother from the village, about 120 kilometers from the city, for her medical checkup. In that home , there are two girls aged ten and eight and a boy aged twenty two months. This boy is very active; learning to explore his world while the girls are away at school. In the evening, the grandmother sits on a mat under a mango tree and watches the people pass by. As soon as the grandson sees his grandmother in the garden, he rushes to her and happily starts chatting her up in his mumble- jumble. He brings out most of his toys and demonstrates to her how they work. As he rides his toy car, he calls out Jajja– grandmother a thousand times and the grandmother cheers him along. The grandmother calls him ‘dear husband’ as the culture dictates.
During this time, the two are inseparable; each one giving what he/she has. They share snacks like sweet bananas, juice and laughter. Their laughter is terribly infectious. The grandmother sings him some local Nursery rhymes. They bark at the dog together, mew like the cat, point at a passing airplane with great excitement. The two are fully immersed in what is going on between them: they listen to each other intently and grandmother pretends to be understanding everything the grandson is telling her in his mumble-jumble.When the grandson falls down, the grandmother soothes him by simply blowing over the bruised area and soon after the grandson runs back to what he was doing.
They are having the best time of their lives. The grandson knows that he is safe with his grandmother; no one can take him away and the grandmother herself is more than thrilled to live her second childhood.
At eighty plus, she has been there and done that. Long before, she had struggled to find meaning of her life, to achieve something for herself or change the world and make a difference while taking care of others. She has given her gifts to the world, children and grandchildren. Now it is time for her to learn to be free and fully connected with the universe. She now lives life for its own sake day by day. She is no longer bothered by achievements instead; she is lost in finding joy with her grandson. Indeed, she has earned this luxury and it will keep her going for a while. Grandmother and grandson feel they are in a safe place; both are open to joy and trust others to take care of them.
These are two Innocents enjoying their childhood spontaneity, both are highly creative and are both playing just for the fun of it. The grandson creates the games and the grandmother plays along gladly. They cannot have enough of each other.
They will enjoy the fun until it grows dark and they will then follow each other into the house. By then , grandmother’s bony pains would have eased and the grandson’s joy would be unspeakable.
Their emotional tanks would be fully recharged until grandmother’s next visit. I guess each one lives to see the other at the next visit. This is what I call deep, real connectedness to friends and family.
Two quotations about connectedness come to my mind:
“ Each connection with a human being is so rare, so precious, one should preserve it.’’ By Anais Nin
And “Only through connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connection to others,’’ by Goldhor Lerner
Some years back I read Dan Buettner’s book entitled: The Blue Zones. These are the world’s hot Spots of longevity. Among these hot spots was Sardinia, Italy- where people live measurably longer lives-80 plus. Their lives are not only long but are healthy and of good quality too.
Studies showed that among the factors contributing to this longevity were: good genes, eating the traditional Mediterranean diet, leading physically active lives and having several generations of a family living under one roof loving and supporting one another.
The deep connection I observed between my neighbour’s mother and her grandson proves that being connected to a loving and supporting family is among the key factors to increased longevity.
Each time they play their games together, they recharge each other’s emotional tank and each one can ride on this wave of joy and pleasure until the next visit. Your family doctor will tell you that a happy disposition strengthens the Immune system thus protecting you against recurrent infections and cancers.
If you are now reading this, start thinking about how you can connect deeper to all your friends and loved ones and immediately take action. It will add life to your years and may save you many trips to your family doctor.
Thank you for making time to read my post and keep coming back. I would be very happy to hear from you if the post has inspired you to connect deeply with others.