One of my favorite shows from the 1990’s is Northern Exposure. The town of Cicily, Alaska is inhabited by quirky and delightful characters ranging from a New York City born and bred, Columbia University educated doctor who received his schooling via a scholarship from the state of Alaska and his agreement was that he go there to serve as a physician to pay off the debt, to a female pilot who dropped in from Michigan who has outrageously bad luck with boyfriends who die under weird circumstances, with whom he has a love/hate relationship, from a radio D.J. philosopher to a grandiose retired astronaut who owns most of the town. The two Cicilians I am shining the spotlight on in the Bliss Blog today are Ed Chigliak and Ruthanne Miller. Ed is a 20-something year old young man abandoned at birth and raised by the native tribe in the region. An aspiring filmaker and Shaman in training, he is simultaneously naive and wise; always searching for his roots and wings. Ruthanne is the older woman who runs the town’s general store. A transplant from somewhere in the ‘lower forty eight’, she had made Cicily her home for the past 30 years or more. Feisty, with a vibrance that belies her age, she is determined to remain fiercly independent. Ruthanne has just turned 75 and to Ed’s dismay, he comes to the conclusion that his friend is really old and knocking on death’s door. He attempts to protect her from herself and ends up realizing that she has a full, rich life left.
He is puzzled about a birthday present for her and finally comes up with a ‘gift that keeps on giving.’ At her birthday party, he hands her a jar of soil and tells her that it is only a part of her gift. He then takes her to a majestic spot high in the mountains, overlooking a spectacular vista. “This is it.”, he informs her. “What, Ed,” Ruthanne replies. “Well, not all of it. Just from here to here,” he points out a plot approximately six foot by six foot. He hesitantly continues, “It’s a place for your gravesite. Do you like it?” After considering several responses, Ruthanne answers “Well, yes Ed, it’s a lovely spot to spend eternity. Now what shall we do?” Ed looks confused and then answers her, “What do you want to do?” A twinkle forms in her eyes and she says with playfulness., “Dance on my grave. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, wouldn’t you say?.” Together they dance with abandon.
Everyday we are called on to step out of our comfort zones and expand our horizons. How often do we answer the call? We may fret about our limitations as Ed did. We may celebrate our experience and age as Ruthanne did. When in doubt…..dance~
http://youtu.be/LEU2gCSQ7jY Northern Exposure