I am impressed by uniqueness and dedication. I am thinking of two older women I befriended in 2003 at the first Buddhist meditation class I ever attended. Doris and Lynn gave me many gifts. Some were material, but much of it was wisdom.
The first thing I learned was that when it comes to soul family friendships, age was immaterial. Doris is my mother's age, 82. Lynn was even older. The age gap was not an issue, ever. We loved each other's company. We ate Thai food and had adventures! We shared our spiritual path, our struggles and what we were learning.
Both women had unique style and seemed to express their Spirit in whatever they wore. In a certain way, they both healed my heart. They were unabashed about their love for me and interest in my life. They held up a positive mirror for my best qualities. I know I did the same for them. I kept them amused with my varied interests and antics!
At one time, Doris lived at the Buddhist meditation center. I was visiting her one day when she felt prompted to give me her Tara statue. Before attending that center, I'd never known about the Buddha Tara. I'd not been introduced to a female enlightened Being! I loved her immediately.
The day I took Tara home, I placed her on my dresser. That night, in my dreams, I felt like someone was taking Windex to my psyche. I received a blessing that night. Her energy was too strong for my bedroom, so she was lovingly relocated to a more prominent location on the mantelpiece of my fireplace!
Some time thereafter, Lynn gifted me a beautiful statue of Kwan Yin, Buddha of compassion. I love her as well! In my mind, Lynn was the human Kwan Yin. Doris is a human Tara.
Lynn passed from this life and into full time Kwan Yin status three years ago. Doris is ten months in to a silent meditation retreat. I miss our conversations, but I admire the dedication she has to her spiritual practice. Lynn was similarly dedicated, often attending retreats as well.
Doris and Lynn weren't "official" spiritual teachers. I learned from them by how they loved and how vividly they engaged life.