Wisdom of an Idyllwild Woman


Yesterday was a beautiful and profound day. Mom and I took a mini road trip up to Idyllwild to walk around and get away from the city for awhile. After checking out a really awesome metaphysical store (where I got a lovely new pentagram pendant), Mom asked where we could find the best root beer floats in town. We were directed to Oma’s.

This little cafe was adorable with a brother/sister waitstaff who kept bickering with each other. The brother waited on us and was really nice with a snarky sense of humor. Mom and I dig that sort of thing. I ordered a cinnamon roll and Mom got her root beer float, both of which were out of this world delicious.

There was an elderly woman there who looked like Oma, a painting of whom hung on the wall. Mom and I couldn’t quite figure out if it was her, so we asked. Turns out that the original Oma has passed away about eight years ago and this woman, her name was Gisla, was a long time family friend who just liked to help out when she was in town. We had the opportunity to talk to this little bad ass of a woman for about 10 minutes.

Gisla was nearly 80 years old, had pretty white hair down to her chin, beautiful blue eyes and what I liked to call “wisdom wrinkles”. Through our conversation, Mom and I learned that she had taken 22 years of karate, was an incredibly spiritual woman, and believed that her life had been full of miracles. She was originally from Germany and had lived through the atrocities of WWII. 

She struck a chord with me when she said, “I have never believed in God more. My life has been full of miracles.” She spoke of lessons and mistakes, seeing the good when bad things happen, and relying on God (in her words “Or whatever it is people want to call It”) to get through. Gisla was fearless. She feared nothing and nobody. Even after only a 10 minute conversation, you could tell that everything she said was true.

I’m learning more and more as each day passes that God is with me. I choose to call Him/Her the Divine or the Universe. It just feels more natural to me. I have become much more open in my dialogue with the Divine through conversation, journaling, and just soaking up the energy in nature. Looking back, it seems that my life has been full of miracles too. Even the darkest hours where my soul was writhing in pain were miracles because I learned something. I grew. I became stronger. I shed old skin. 

Mom and I agreed after our conversation with Gisla that we were supposed to be there at that precise moment in time. We were supposed to meet her. This little woman was so full of life and wisdom. If I were to be so bold, and I will be, I would say that the Divine was speaking to us through her.

We only spent a short time in Idyllwild, but it was just enough time to get some truth we didn’t know we had coming to us. I am very grateful for the opportunity to not so much talk to Gisla, but to listen to her. This experience I will remember for a long time… especially in times when it feels like my life isn’t so full of miracles.


2 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on Ruthspirations and commented:
    I had to share this blog with all of you. My daughter was here a couple weeks ago and we took a day trip up to Idyllwild. It is moments like the one that Rachael describes in her blog that make life worth living. Not only was the time spent with my daughter precious, but the wisdom of a lovely stranger created a moment that will be remembered for a lifetime. Enjoy.

  2. What a wonderful post. I truly appreciate your ability and that of your daughter to put in writing the moments in time that inspire and drive the both of you. To meet and get to talk with a person who has “been there, done that” and come away with the knowledge and ability to share it with whomever she comes into contact with is a true treasure. Cherie had a Great grandmother who lived to see 103 years, she was one of the wisest souls I have ever met and I first met her when she was in her late 70’s. She took me in as one of her own and shared with me the life experiences she lived. It is wonderful to sit and talk with our older generation. There is so much one can learn from a wise old soul. Hopefully, some day, I can pass on what I have learned in life to a younger generation eager to gather a bit of knowledge from an old fool. Thank you, both of you, for sharing your life experiences and allowing those of us who admire your writing to enjoy those moments with you through your words. Much Love To Both Of You!

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