One from the Heart
She lives in a tree house right on the ocean. She is a keen observer of all things natural. She is an expert in Feng Shui. She has succeeded at more careers than you can imagine. She is the mother of five children. She is all of these things and much more, but most importantly, she is uniquely herself.
Interviewing Libba Beerman was one of the most unusual experiences I have had in a long time. She lives in Sea Pines in a "tree house" that has an incredible view of the Intracoastal Waterway and marshes. One whole wall of her home is glass and the view is not only lovely, it is ever changing. People in kayaks, sea birds, deer, sailboats, yachts and powerboats all endlessly pass in review. No need to ask how she spends her spare time!
Libba grew up in South Carolina and has the charming accent to prove it, but she moved to Hilton Head nearly 15 years ago to be near her daughter, Andy Sonfield. Previously, she was away having a life before returning to her roots. Interestingly enough, she says Andy thought it was time for her to move closer to her, as she was advancing in age. So, she moved into her "glass tree house" at the age of 72, and now, at 87-years-old, she is still going strong! (So much for that idea.) In addition to her daughter, who she calls her "best friend," she has four sons who are also unique in their own right. One is a pilot, another a well-known artist, the other a musician, and the fourth is in retail. Andy owns Expressions, a local custom furniture business. All are in careers about as diverse as you can get.
And speaking of careers and jobs, Libba told me she was embarrassed to list her "working life" jobs. She was a hostess at a student center, a bookstore salesclerk, a real estate agent, an inn and a motel manager, a repairwoman for wooden yachts, the creator and manager of a restaurant with 45 employees, and a worker in a holistic community center, which led to a New Age conversion at the age of 60. She also worked in a hospital psychiatric unit, where she discovered that in this life, everyone has a story to tell. This experience led her to study at the Omega Institute to learn how to guide people in past life experiences. After doing this for three years, Libba ran an art gallery, and finally, in a huge move, went to live on a 31-acre farm. "I got much needed peace and quiet riding a tractor, pulling a bush hog, and repairing fences," Libba explained with a smile. Imagine all of this and raising five children!
When she arrived on Hilton Head Island, she worked at Sacks Consignment Shop and also became a Feng Shui consultant, a job she still finds herself in demand to perform.
In addition, Libba is a very active volunteer. She began with hospice when she first arrived on Hilton Head. She says it required no special skills, just a big heart and life experience. She proudly showed me her ten-year achievement award, and stating that she has recently resigned from active duty. She claims she is finally truly retired, but it does not look like that to me. She is active in a book club, maintains her own home, reads voraciously, and is in the process of writing her life story. Libba is also a gardener. She grows lettuce, blueberries and collards, among other things. She and her dog cruise Harbour Town daily on long jaunts. She says, "The sights of the ever-changing marsh and Calibogue Sound feed my soul. I plan to live here until I am carried out feet first!"
PINK: Libba, share a bit about your core values and how you came by those feelings.
LIBBA: I guess core values do not change much. My core values are not too different from my childhood values. It is pretty simple. I think you should just be kind. I mean one should be kind to themselves and to others in thought, word and deed. I am kind to others always, but I am also kind to myself. I think God means for us to love ourselves, after all, He made us.
My main aim in life is happiness. I want it for others and I want it for myself. I want other people to see opportunities to use themselves in service, and I am proud to have done this myself. The best time I have ever lived is now and being 87. I am not angry, I am content and grateful to still be able to witness the amazing thing that is life.
What a lovely person. When I left my visit with Libba, I was a much better woman than I was when I came in. I will always see her, in my mind's eye, standing in front of her glass wall looking out on Calibogue Sound and describing the changing colors of the marsh grasses. She is a true example of a life well lived.
"My main aim in life is happiness. I want it for others and I want it for myself. I want other people to see opportunities to use themselves in service, and I am proud to have done this myself. The best time I have ever lived is now and being 87. I am not angry, I am content and grateful to still be able to witness the amazing thing that is life."