Saturday, October 13, 2012

These Are My Heroes

Here are their faces. I admire many women of conscience and courage. Dr. Wangari Maathai. An San Suu Kyi. Hatshepsut.  These women are mighty. And globally known. But each began taking steps at home. In communities. I live in this house. In this community, in this town, in this state, in this country, on this planet. Change and growth seem daunting to me when the enormity of the world's problems swell my brain. I feel overwhelmed, helpless. Will we live soon on a planet where violence against women has ended? Can we escape the privatization of prisons and the incarceration of our poor brothers and sisters? Can we feed all the children? To take action feels too hard when viewed through a mighty global lens. Today my hero is my great grandmother. She came to America from Finland with four children. Her husband had gone ahead to work in the Canadian silver mines. He died young. My great-grandmother did what all women did in the early 20th century. She worked. Her children worked. She grew food, milked her cow, fought off male predators, taught her children to live in nature. She carried water home, cooked the food she grew and the food her men caught. She chopped wood, did laundry in community over a fire with other women. She concocted medicines, baked bread to barter for other food, and laughed. She told stories, and listened to other storytellers. She cried and raged. She danced. She loved her extended family, and threw out her man when he came home too drunk. Let him back in when he was contrite. She lived. Completely. And she is a hero to me.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story. I can see your Great Grandmother still alive and well in Linda Robinson, woman extraordinaire.