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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I sat on the beach this morning with my feet in the water in Hawaii.

For some reason, I’ll assume travel related and residual effects of a recently sprained ankle, I have travel cankles. In my head, soaking my feet in the ocean would help alleviate the swelling. If Epsom salts helped, then I’m thinking the pure sea salt would be a magic elixir.

Sitting at the shore was heavenly. Looking out at the ocean and seeing mountains for some reason always makes me feel like I am on another planet. It got me thinking, “Who would ever want to leave here?”

Immediately my grandmother popped in my head. She was not Hawaiian by descent, but was born in Honolulu and lived in Hawaii until she was 19 years old. She left to follow my grandfather, who hailed from Buffalo, NY. He was in the service during the World War and while in Hawaii, met my grandmother and they fell in love. I have heard variations on the tale but the one that sticks in my mind is my great-grandfather essentially ran my grandfather off the island. He didn’t want his daughter involved with a GI from the USA.

Billie before she was Gram

Stubborn and tenacious Scorpio that she was, she took a boat to San Francisco and then a train to Buffalo. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

This story was relayed to me so many times as a kid it became second nature. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized what a bold move this was. As it turns out, my grandfather died very young at just 50 years old before my parents were married.

Every now and again on a rainy day, Gram would joke and say, “What the hell was I thinking moving here from Hawaii?” Thinking is not what moves us 5,000 miles from home. Love is.

It also didn’t occur to me until I was much older that I connected the dots that my great-grandmother also passed away very young, just before my grandmother made her big move. Her mom was just 48 years old.

My great grandmother Ragna

Now I look at it from a different place. When your mom dies, regardless of your age, it changes your whole entire world. I know this because I feel like I’ve been living in a fugue state for the last three and a half years since my mothers sudden passing.

Being the astrology nerd that I am, I looked at my grandmother’s birth chart. I’m not sure exactly when she left Hawaii. I also don’t know exactly when she met my Grandfather. Since I’m working with estimates, I checked her progressed chart. The long and short of this, is that it’s a great chart for predictive stuff and is also very slow moving so you don’t need exact dates to get a sense of what’s happening.

In 1938, when she was 19 there were changes in her chart that indicate a time of major life shifts, being focused on relationships and also energy for meeting your person. Her progressed moon moved into her first house which is a time when she could focus on herself and what she needed. And what she needed it seems was a fresh start and to follow her wandering heart.

At the same time there was a transit that was all about sudden changes, feeling restless, and needing to make a move.

She had Pluto at the top of her birth chart which translates to a life being filled with rebirth and transformation. I love looking back and seeing the evidence of timing and a life as it unfolds.

Another snap of Gram

Which brings me back to the beach this morning and my cankles. Nothing is random. This clearly challenging and transformative time for my grandmother shaped our entire family. I would not be here were it not for these shifts and synchronicities in her life.

And of course, love is at the root of all of it. I’ll never know if her mom hadn’t passed away so young if she would have been ready to move to Buffalo NY. Would she have even met my grandfather? Was the grief and loss part of her decision? Or was she just following her heart and passion?

What I do know is she was a ballsy stubborn lady who was not your warm and fuzzy grandmother. She was however, amazing to me. She talked to me like I was her equal. She loved my inquisitive nature and always supported me and my whims. When I needed help convincing my Dad about something, she would go to bat for me. He never said no to his mom.

“Gram” Billie on the beach of course

My brothers and I spent every summer of our childhood at her Lake Erie cottage which is now mine. A far cry from Hawaii, but a love of the beach is a love of the beach. This love has grounded each generation since her start in Honolulu. We are beach people. We are a little quirky but we love hard and we follow our hearts.

I feel beyond grateful to be here in Hawaii today writing this and I’m even a little grateful for my cankles which found me sitting at the shore, without my phone or a book, just pondering as I’m known to do.

I am also especially grateful to come from such feisty, passionate and determined stock. This one is for you Gram.

Mahalo nui loa xoxo

PS If you ever want to dive into your birth chart, or that of your family or ancestors, I am here for it. I would be honored to be your guide.

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1 Comment

Beautiful so many ways!

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