Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
Sun sneaks behind this
moment’s silver cloud then peaks
its bright face weakly.
March is almost gone, one quarter of the new year. It’s been a lovely month and here we are well into spring and working toward summer. We are celebrating women this month for Women’s History Month. I made a list this year of a few more women whose work affected the lives of other women. I’ve given a few notations, but you might want to continue your own research. You know, because research and learning about other women is fun, as if you don’t have enough to do with your own life making your own history. Presented once again in random order.
Laura Bridgman, first blind deaf-mute to learn significant English language. Julia Ward Howe, abolitionist. Cher, singer. Dorothea Dix, activist. Anna Atkins, botanist and photographer. Vanessa Bell, artist and sister of Virginia Woolf. Marilynne Robinson, author. Cassandra, seer of truth, who was not believed. Edwidge Danticat, author. Barbara Eden, actress. Patsy Cline, singer. Elizabeth Montgomery, actress. Veronica Lake, actress. Vanna White, game show hostess. Betty White, actress and activist. Jane Curtain, actress and comedienne. Gilda Radner, actress and comedienne. Alice Hoffman, author. Monica Drake, author. Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry Tudor, who was crowned King Henry the VII, grandmother of Henry the VIII. Elizabeth of York, wife to King Henry VII, mother to King Henry VIII. Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England, banished by her husband Henry the VIII. Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, murdered by her husband Henry the VIII. Jane Seymour, Queen of England, died two weeks after childbirth, wife of Henry the VIII. Anne of Cleves, Queen of England, untouched and annulled by her husband Henry the VIII. Kathryn Howard, Queen of England, murdered by her husband Henry the VIII. Katherine Parr, Queen of England, outlived her husband, the wife-murdering Henry the VIII. Pollyanna. Jane Seymour, actress who plays the title character of TV’s Dr Quinn Medicine Woman. Ethel Kennedy, activist. Maria Shriver, activist. Meryl Streep, actress. Janet McTeer, actress. Hedy Lamarr, inventor and actress. Marion Donovan, inventor of disposable diapers. Ruth Handler, inventor of Barbie dolls. Susan Branch, artist. Glenn Close, actress. Mary Phelps Jacob, inventor of the modern brassiere. Sherri Finkbine, TV’s Romper Room hostess. Ruth Wakefield, inventor of the chocolate chip cookie. Betty Crocker. Virginia Apgar, inventor of the health assessment score our babies are given at birth. Julie Newmar, actress and dancer. Sarah E Goode, inventor of the bed closet. Mary Leakey, paleoanthropologist. Maria Mitchell, astronomer. Anna Baldwin, inventor of the automatic milking machine for dairies. Jane Addams, social worker. Pearl Buck, author. Faith Ringgold, artist. Kathy Acker, author. Patti Smith, singer. Edith Head, costume designer. Maggie Smith, actress. Heidi. Julie Archibald Holmes, suffragist. Annie Oakley, sharpshooter. Sonia Henie, figure skater. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, pilot. Helen Reddy, singer. Emmy Noether, mathematician. Nina Simone, singer.
Each of these women overcame barriers or were firsts in their field. Each was unique; each had a contribution to make and we remember them for it.
Oh, wait though, you say, a few of those names were fictional characters. I believe fiction has a large effect on how we see ourselves and conduct ourselves in this world. One cannot read Laura Ingalls Wilder or Agatha Christie or Toni Morrison and come away unchanged. And where would modern women be without Betty Crocker, regardless of her marketing tool status?
What about you? You are special and unique. You who came from her, who came from her, who came from her. You have a contribution to make whether it is as a stay-at-home mom who home-schools, a single working mom, a teacher in public schools, a mom who keeps the family business on track as well as the household, a woman who mothers children who are not her own, a woman who burns inside with curiosity, a woman who runs her own business, a woman who is the breadwinner of her family, a retired woman writing her art out and tending her garden and chickens, a grandmother enjoying the freedom of spoiling her grandbabies, or a woman by any other name and game. So much lovely variety in us, women. If we share our stories I think we’ll find we can help each other know we are not so different. Unique, always, but not so different.
We can’t always see the contribution we are making as we are making it. Sometimes the reward comes years after or, sadly, posthumously but the value is there nonetheless. Do we need a reward for living our lives, raising our children, gracing our passions? We might not need big parties, shiny new cars, or financial bonuses, but a pat on the back and a heartfelt voice of gratitude now and then speaks volumes. This spring honor a woman you know by saying thank you. Women, thank you, for ALL you do!
Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – these little dime sized daisies growing in lawns; seems way early but lilacs are coming on; the soft green lacy leafiness of this Japanese maple; burgundy and dusty green reminds me of coral bells, same family?; the blooming ground cover that is the blue of periwinkle; a neon yellow, flame red tinged tulip; these lavender/purplish blossoming trees are blooming in my neighborhood now and I don’t know what they are; here’s a close-up of the blossom; deep purple and bright yellow tulips tucked up against the brown barked trunk of an old tree.
Currently Reading – Cassandra (1984, fiction) by Christa Wolf; Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (2014, aging and terminal care) by Atul Gawande; Making Yourself Indispensable: The Power of Personal Accountability (2012, psychology) by Mark Samuel; Mr Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers (2002, biography) by Ed Sikov. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Variable weather, both kinds, sun and rain, and moderate temperatures.
- A coffee date with a friend I haven’t see for ages because we live way across town from each other and enjoying a lovely chat.
- Thinking I feel better and doing too much and paying the price. Learning how to pace myself to get done what needs to be done. At least I got a couple tasks done.
- My uncle’s birthday today, who had major surgery last fall, and is doing ok. Nice to celebrate another revolution around the sun. And my aunt who takes care of him.
- My brother-in-law and his eldest son, who also had birthdays this week, and they are all so close I’ve never gotten the dates straight. Dates, bah! Love is what matters.
- My crazy white Einstein hairs that stand out every which way from my head.
- Learning every day about women’s fascinating lives and history.
- For the first time in months enjoying walking a few blocks in relative comfort, slug speed, remembering the two and three mile habit of the past.
- My neighbors’s yards and gardens.
- Earth, soil, and worms.
- Blossoms, bees, and fruit.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch
Bunny ribbon by Susan Branch