I came across this by chance. I had to drive my mother to see some friends at the senior center next to her church. I thought I was going to a place where people were sitting around, depressed and waiting to die. As I walked through the door, I was amazed, the creativity in the room almost knocked me over. These people were not depressed. They were overflowing with excitement and very much involved in projects. There were a couple of tables with knitting and crocheting. Another area, where they were meticulously doing hand-painted cards. Incredible how these hands, crippled by arthritis or shaking due to their ages, were still managing to make beautiful creations. Then I came across what really caught my eye; men and women with their easels painting in acrylic and oils. One of them proudly told me that I should have seen the one she completed for her son just in time for Thanksgiving. Creativity is giving these seniors a reason to wake up in the morning, the excitement one feels while creating, the pride of seeing a project completed and the joy of giving someone something that is truly a part of them. It was not all about arts and crafts, there were others playing cards, dominoes and a group with their guitars singing Cuban songs from the past. The place made me realize a few things. First, how one can continue to create well into a time when you are not able to do so many other things in your life. The importance of continuing to develop and nourish our creative side which will be with us until the end. The place made me very nostalgic as I listened to these seniors sing the old Cuban songs. I thought of how this generation will soon be gone and what a big part of our heritage will be going with them. A visit by chance last week prompt me to return again this week, this time with a camera. They were more than happy to let me take their pictures. The problem was that I can't possibly put them all in my blog. The next time you see a senior with a cane or walker, look beyond that and see what is still very much alive and well within them.
P.S. - One of them asked me to stop by her house and see her paintings.....she has a few for sale!!