One of the reasons I love working on Mindful Littles is because of the wonderful organic opportunities to meet and interact with some amazing people- from nonprofit partners who are passionately working on important causes to parents and educators who are driving change in our local communities to folks who are special souls like Eartha Newsong.
Eartha is an Orinda Senior Village resident and was instrumental in helping us organize our last Mindful Littles event- Groovin’ for Good. Over the course of the few months as we planned our event, I got to know Eartha some, and every time I connected with her, I could feel her radiant energy shining through. After our event, I really wanted to just spend time with her to get to know her more. This last week my girls and I had the chance to have lunch with Eartha, and in just a short time, we learned so much. I am truly humbled by Eartha’s lifelong dedication and service to her community.
Eartha, who was born Susan, grew up in the United States, and became a nurse after high school. Throughout her young life, Eartha was called to spirituality, specifically converting to Catholicism. She also felt a calling to world travel. After traveling extensively around Europe, Eartha fell in love with Scotland and on her next journey, bought a 1-way ticket to Scotland to immigrate there. During her stay in Europe, Eartha became a Franciscan nun. Through her sisterhood, she was sent to work in Pakistan, which she describes as some of the most treasured years of her life. Eartha lived and worked in a village in Pakistan, near Lahore, where she served as a midwife for over ten years helping provide much-needed medical services in very poor neighborhoods. She delivered many babies for many low-income Pakistani villagers and watched many of these babies grow up during her time there. Eartha really enjoyed offering preventative care, which greatly influenced how she chose to practice spirituality later in life. Eartha became close with many of the Pakistani villagers, describing them as warm, loving people.
Upon return to the United States, Eartha dedicated many years of her life as an artist. The girls and I were able to get a glimpse of Eartha’s artistic talent with photos of a few of her paintings. While she no longer paints, it is clear that Eartha was born with a gift and over the years many homes have been fortunate enough to be adorned with Eartha’s “photograph-like” portraits and paintings.
She continues to be an active community member in Orinda now always finding ways to help and enrich the lives of others around her.
For Eartha it is all about love. Everything she has done in her life has been in the spirit of love- the love of spirituality, love of travel, love of medicine, love of art, love for service and people. When you meet Eartha, you feel this love, her warmth and zestful spirit right away. My family is so grateful that our paths intertwined with Eartha and that we get to continue learning more about her fascinating life experiences.
In a world where we constantly hear media stories of negativity- violence, crime, hate- sometimes it’s people like Eartha who serve as great reminders that there’s more good in the world than there is bad, that there are special souls in this world who grace us with their love, their dedication and simply their presence. If you have more stories of Mindful Bigs in our community, we would love to hear them and more importantly share them with one another so that we can all be inspired by more stories of kindness and positivity in the world.