Her amazing smile was the first thing I noticed about Liesel when I met her at friends‘ Christmas dinner. She sat there, laughing, talking with people of all ages around her, with a vibrant, charismatic attitude, full of cheerfulness and joy. I knew she would be there, because my friend Paulien called me: »You’ll meet an outstanding person, I’d suggest … bring your camera with you!«
I made only a few snapshots during the evening; due to low light and intense conversations, I decided to ask Liesel and her family for another appointment. A more relaxed one, for a coffee or two. And sent some of the photos I already made to her. On New Year’s Eve her son invited me to see each other the next day. When I arrived, Liesel opened the door, a twinkle in her eyes. We both smiled – and hugged each other. (Which must have been a great scene to watch, as she is a tiny person of perhaps 1,60m and I’m about 1,82m…)
To cut a long story short: It has been a lovely, intense conversation with this beautiful, admirable lady, who loves gardening, reads lots, is interested in politics, in life and people around her. And will celebrate her centenary this year. „When I look and talk to all these interesting people of all ages around me, my heart opens wide“, she said with her astonishing young voice, „… as if my heart is too big for my chest.“ A memorable moment, full of cheerfulness, wisdom and grace, which I consider as most important: For the insights, which were a lesson about life and attitude towards life, about beauty and spirit. I cherish this one as one of the great moments in my life.
My cup definitely runneth over, while I returned back home, full of happiness and deep joy. Then I read a beautiful Jamaican saying: »Whatever you start your new year doing, is exactly the thing you will keep doing throughout the year.«
… and yes I said yes I will Yes.