Monday, October 24, 2011


The other day I came across this picture I snapped several years ago at Topanga Days, which happens every Memorial Day, in our tiny canyon town smack in the middle of la-la land, L.A. Everyone dons their best hippie attire and rocks out for three days to the music of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Leo Nocentelli and The Meters, to an aging but still ready to rock, Billy Idol . To say we let it all hang out... is a polite understatement. So, I always have my camera ready to catch the moment, if lucky enough to find one.

A thousand photos later as I review shots of belly dancers, painted faces, and various long hairs, I see the picture I love with most -  this face on this little cherub. I was snookered the minute I snapped the picture, and seeing it once again, I fall in love all over - with this face. I love this face. I decided to put the photo on my website, silently thinking I wish I knew who this little angel is. Two days later I find myself at the exact spot where Topanga Days resides - on the ball field of our community center, for yet another community event - Yoga Day L.A. where yoginis young and old sweat in the hot dry California sun on a last visit from Summer. I park myself down under the largest oak tree and only shade on the ball field, as a sea of butts rose in the air for Downward Facing Dog pose. Suddenly, a little blond ball of energy dressed in only a fushia tutu, came rushing towards me and jumped into my lap. As fate would have it, I looked down in shock, to see my favorite little cherub face staring up at me, now curled up in my lap like I've known her a million lifetimes. Eight years old, she can't speak words, but began communicating with sounds and expression, I didn't know existed. It was so angelic as we sat together, holding hands, and "talking". I was captivated for at least a half hour, watching her curl around my body playfully - one minute head on lap, the next minute jumping up and down, making clicking noises as she showed me her world - that somehow I was lucky enough to understand. 

I felt like I was given this giant blessing, as I sat under the tree of life with this glorious child who found me in amidst a few hundred people doing yoga. When her Mom, Candace, came to retrieve her after watching from the sidelines while I basked in her child's amazing love, I told her the story of finding the photo just a day or two before, and how wished I new her name.  Ashanti and her Mom are now my new pals, and I'm more in love than ever after getting my wish. Everyone should be this lucky.


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