“We no longer need to walk this journey alone. We are each ‘walking sticks’ for each other – walking each other home….“
ANKYA KLAY, 1948-2023
When the Wildly Free Elder website and community was being born in June, 2020 a long time friend of mine, Ankya Klay, was one of the first people I thought of to be Spotlighted and so I extended an invitation.
What transpired after that initial invitation was a deep dive into what elderhood and aging was for her. I know she wouldn’t mind my saying that she wasn’t too fond of it at that time and was “hiding her age” as she tells it. Several months after that she was ready to sit down and write about her journey. I invite you to read about it here: https://wildlyfreeelder.com/one-earth-one-step-at-a-time-with-ankya-klay
Ankya wrote about our first meeting with the short story below the image. We were roommates matched through synchronicity in a San Francisco hotel attending a workshop for initiation into “The Order of Pink Velvet Ear Greeters”.
Once initiated we walked the streets of San Francisco handing out roses and offering hugs. It was a heart opening and joyous day that will always live within me. We went on to be Greeters in other areas as well and when Donny and Kirk came up to Oregon, where I was then living, we suited up in our pink fur once again!
Ankya Klay, Blue Bear & Gaye Abbott – Corvallis, Oregon
One of the most fun and freeing times of experiencing Oneness in my life was when I first met Gaye Abbott through mutual friends, to celebrate our 60th birthdays! Meeting Gaye happened because of following my ‘wildly free’ heart’s calling at that time. We became proud members of The Order of The Pink Velvet Ear Greeters, an ‘Order’ founded by the same mutual friends who introduced us, and our intention was to go out on the streets and bring people joy by making them smile. Our Motto, “All it takes is an undefended heart and lots of pink fur and smiles.”
Since that first meeting and our heart opening initiation into “The Order of The Pink Velvet Ear Greeters” we stayed connected even though living on the other side of the planet from each other. When she was in the U.S. we made a point of meeting in person….and when she wasn’t we used other means to stay connected.
She was a global traveler, phenomenal photographer and artist, with an intense love for nature and this planet. Everything she did spoke to what she called “Round Love”.
As we walked our life path together and apart, we knew that we would always stay connected and travel down similar paths as well as very diverse ones. What we both knew in our heart of hearts is that we were “walking sticks” for each other – walking each other home.
Photography: Ankya Klay
Yesterday Ankya suddenly left her embodiment leaving so many of us whom she deeply touched with her love, joy, magic, artistry and humor, grieving her loss. You will be deeply missed soul and heart sister…..but I know I will find you in the sunrises, sunsets, birdsong, trees and ocean waves…..and always Blue Bear.
As I wrote a response early this morning to a long time friend of Ankya in Australia, I looked up and this is what I saw out my bedroom window. You are simply gorgeous beloved Ankya…I LOVE YOU!
Gaye Abbott, Wildly Free Elder, 01/03/2023
Category: beauty of aging, Death and DyingTags: Ankya Klay, Ankya Klay Photography, Artistry of Aging, Conscious Aging, Death and Dying, Elder Artistry, Elderhood, Order of Pink Velvet Ear Greeters, Wildly Free Elder