What's new under the sun?
On the day my art professor retired from teaching, he said to his students, "If you think there is nothing new under the sun, then you have no business being an artist. And yet it is the same moon that shines above all lovers." Over the years, I've broadened my brush strokes to be more about the art of living. That includes; experiencing surprises, going beyond one's comfort zone, learning something new and then sharing it with someone. The possibilities are endless.
I have a photo of my mother making a crown of daisies to put on my head when I was 2 years old. I remember her telling me later how aware she was that I was a newcomer to the world that needed to be introduced to all the summer flowers. I now make a point of showing any young girl how to create a daisy crown. In my teens, my great aunt that lived in the mountains in Norway introduced me to high altitude flowers by name. "Wow. Why do they have names?" I asked. She responded, "Well, then you can have a personal relationship with them by calling their name."
This year, I've discovered something new to my senses. It's the myriads of grasses that grace our roadways and fields. All the varieties of textures and patterns that I've taken for granted most of my life! How can that be? They're so elegant and gorgeous and can be just as interesting as flowers.
In July, I had the opportunity to go with my entire family to the Bob Dylan concert at Bayfront Park in Duluth. I looked around with "Vaseline on my lenses" that evening. Wrinkles were gone, grey hair just seemed ash blond, people wore relaxed clothing, danced and smiled an awful lot. It seemed timeless. I learned that Bob Dylan no longer plays the guitar on stage due to carpal tunnel issues, so he switched to keyboards. He also adjusted his melodies to suit his current vocal range. He is doing what is a fact of life as we age, making adjustments. I was impressed by how he could continue to live his passion.
Then there are those situations that I wouldn't be in unless someone suggested or asked. Take the recent pontoon ride to view the tall ships. Did you know that the bay in the Duluth Harbor is as shallow as a person standing? Did you know that there are huge rolling waves that move in from the lake? Did you ever think that cold weather can actually feel good -- that is if you are dressed appropriately?
Entering the last month of summer, we hope to see you at these events:
Senior Day at the Lake County Fair, Thursday, Aug. 8: General admission is free. The senior luncheon is at 12:30 pm. Tickets are free and still available at the Community Partners office at Bayview Terrace. Call (218) 834-8024.
Picnic at Lakeview Park, Wednesday, Aug. 21: Cost is $5. Music by the THUGS. Call Arna Rennan for reservations by Aug. 19 at (218) 525-4534.
Pontoon ride on the St. Louis River, Wednesday Aug. 25: Sponsored by Let's Go Fishing with Seniors. Departure from Two Harbors at 8:30 a.m. Cost of bus ride is $7. Lunch at Grandma's is $11.99, including beverages, tip and sales tax.
These are some activities that I hope provide an opportunity to step outside of everyday routines and meet someone new to share a conversation with. My favorite question to ask is "What age are you on the inside?" Or a simple, "What's new...under the sun?"
Arna Rennan is the activity director for Socially Active Seniors. Reach her at (218) 525-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.