I close my eyes in a quiet corner of our garden. I fill my lungs with fresh air and notice how my heart is still beating. I think about the year that we’ve had, the challenges that presented themselves to each of us, and I see the women around me. Tired, worried, defeated, as they look at the word with dark circles under their eyes. I see the tears that have gone cold on cheeks that don’t laugh anymore. I see shoulders crooked from an invisible weight as discouragement settles around them and the light turns to grey. I see dreams ending too soon, and energy and plans that come to nothing, blowing away in the nothingness of dusk. I see struggling, broken souls, stumbling forward like shadows, searching … I’m angry. I mourn and grieve, powerless to do anything about the suffering in the middle of a raging fire. And I am scared, because the lights behind eyes are dimming. But then I see her: Standing naked and brittle, stripped of ideas about self and the safety of her masks. Burned clean from the labels and the mud and the chains and the boxes with which the world has kept her small. A giant in her vulnerability, with her hands on her hips and the storm wind in her hair, challenging life. Champagne sparkles in her eyes, feet planted, soft edges. Breath-taking. Dangerous. On top of a mountain built by every woman that has walked before her, looking out to the horison. She is new life. She is hope. She is warmth and silent peace. She is Summer and salt-of-the-earth, untameable and fierce and wild. Part of the crown of Creation, her original design: God showing off. She is you. She is every woman – made up of all the pieces from all the women that have come before her – and she will leave pieces of herself for those that are to come. She is because of all the moms on her path that “mothered” her, the sisters that stand and fight beside her, the children she carried in her body or in her heart and who now play at her feet, safe in the shadow of who she is, that stretches far to invite everyone in. She is you. And she is me. I see her brute strength shining through the darkest of nights and the suffering around me. Every new plan, every try-again, every brave smile, every inventive solution and warm nurturing word. Every choice to remain soft, every choice to give your heart, every choice to extend a hand to help. Every small flickering of hope. She is us. And wé are the MOST POWERFUL thing in the word: New life. Let’s show her to a world hungry for her quiet Summer sunshine. Let’s give each other permission to be her. Let’s sing to her and call her forward. Let’s teach our daughters how to find her in themselves, exactly just as God made them: with life vibrating into the very tips of their hair.
It’s Women’s Month. Feel free to celebrate the remarkable women standing in front of you and next to you and behind you by sharing this with them.
Lente, Suzanne en Juanli