Saturday April 15th
afternoon, cloudy and beautiful, 70’s, blue sky, full moon was on the 11th
Last night as I washed the dishes I saw my mother’s hands. Running the sponge over each plate, cup, and bowl, each fork and spoon, I saw her small hands there in front of me, superimposed against mine. I saw her in the curve of my wrist and the slope of my shoulders. I saw her, night after night, washing dishes in her darkened kitchen, the house quiet with family either asleep or heading that way.
I saw my grandmother too. As I put away the salt, and the pepper, cleaned the counter and wiped the table. I saw her in her nightgown, with bare feet quiet against the floor, putting her house to sleep.
I saw my great grandmother as I turned out the lights and sat down on the couch to relax, to put my feet up after a full spring day.
I see them, these women, and so many more as I go through my days. I can feel them. I feel my grandmother, my father’s mother, as I plant flowers outside, feel the dark soil on my knees, and feel the cool earth on my skin. I feel my Aunts in the sound of my laugh and the crinkle by my eyes, I feel my sister in my strong hands and sure stride. I feel my cousins as I read, write, play with my son, sit in the sun , and smile.
How many women have led me to this place? How many women have carried me here, on their shoulders and in their arms? How many women do I carry in my bones, in my cells, in my heart? My women, my ancestors; all the women , all the ancestors. How many?
I can see them as I hang the laundry in the sun, dish towels flapping like prayer flags in the wind.
I can see them, washing clothes, by the river, in the bathtub, at the laundromat, in the washing machine. Alone, with others, laughing, crying, talking.
I can see them with round bellies and full breasts, nursing babies, carrying babies under their hearts and in their arms, carrying babies on their sides, shoulders, and backs, carrying the world in their hands.
I can see them building houses, sitting in offices, typing on computers, talking on the phone, presenting at meetings, painting, taking photos, writing, farming, fixing cars, working as doctors, and lawyers. I see them leading countries, leading families, leading the world.
I see them scrubbing floors, scrubbing toilets; cooking over hot stoves, open flames, in the microwave, eating out.
I see them under the blue sky, soaked with rain, walking through dusty desert, diving into icy waters of tumultuous oceans.
I see them travelling the world, in kayaks, in canoes, in ocean liners, in planes, in cars, in trains, in rocket ships.
I see them in love, I see them with broken hearts, I see them angry, excited, grieving, happy, wild with hope.
I see them, bruised and battered, abused, frightened, bound. I see them breaking those chains. I see them rising up.
I see them making homes, making families, making art, making love, making life.
I see them scared. I see them anxious. I see them worried.
I see them strong. I see them courageous. I see them brave.
I feel you all here with me as I make lunch for my small son, as I fill a cup with coffee and sit down to drink, as I watch the clouds playing across the sky through the window and let the dogs outside to run.
And I thank you. I thank all the women across the whole world, all the women across the whole world from the beginning of time, all the animal women too, because I know our experiences are much the same.
I thank you for all the work you do, the love you pour into the world each day, the rocks you carry, the secrets that you keep, and for the wild passion that lives in your heart.
I thank you. I love you. And, most importantly,
I see you.