I say women are the flamekeeper's. If a woman begins, the world will follow. We are the heart and soul of life itself and we are cyclical - like the moon, and the seasons, and time. We are the roots in the ground; always encouraging those around us to have wings. We sacrifice and give until we are certain there is nothing left… but then we find and give more. And when we look into the bottom of the bottom and can't find a scrap of anything else… we make more out of nothing but grit and heartbeats. We want everyone to thrive. We learn and then we teach. We heal and mend. We tend and cultivate. We share the stories - both our own and those we've witnessed - so that others can walk forward with truths and wisdom. Our legend is in the shaping of the lives around us. On and on our impact spreads like ripples in water.
The women closest to me when I was a child are still closest to me today… and over 30 years after helping to raise me, they are helping me to raise my children. They give me their stories, and in them, so many the lessons. Especially after becoming a wife and mother, I see so much value in these companions and their wisdom. I can see now why we are sacred and magical. I see now why we mimic circular rhythms like the moon and the seasons. I see now how we are like the seasons; always changing, learning, becoming and growing. Becoming stronger, becoming smarter, becoming softer, becoming healed; ushering in rest and closure and then becoming anew. It's no wonder why we are aligned with the moon - women give us a light to see by in the dark. They push and pull causing tides of emotions within us; calm seas and joyful waves.
Women are the pivot points for which all life is directed. They are the arrows along the map which lead you forward to new and unknown places. They instill a sense of courage; a calm knowing that wherever you're going and however you get there, you will be fine. And when things go… as they often do… all haywire and opposite of fine, the women in our lives are the paths that bring us home. We are constantly in a state of sending those we love out into the unknown and bringing them back into the familiar. We women are a sheltered harbor and those we love (and their tender hearts) are coming and going - day and night, to and from - the safety that is us.
Call a woman the North Star; she is unwavering and constant even when hidden by clouds. Call a woman the lighthouse that shines through thick fog; she will bring the weary home through tossing waves. Call a woman the compass by which you set your feet and square your shoulders for a long journey. Call a woman both the nurse tending the sick and the soldier courageously racing into battle. Call her the tall pine that gives the environment it's purity and meek creatures shelter. She is all these things and more. She is a lantern and a hearth - she is a flamekeeper.
Women are dynamic and complex. They can be more than one thing to more than one person because they are whole-hearted and soulful. The women in my life have been life jackets, strait jackets, safe places to land, and swift kicks in the ass. They are shields trying to protect me from hurt, they are locked safes where I put the deep and dark. At times, they are fences to corral me and at others they are wide open fields when I need encouragement to run. There is a quote that says: Educate a man; you educate a man. Educate a woman; you educate a generation. That is the most amazing thing about women; their capacity for generosity. They know the importance of the female knowing, the value of generations, and that our legends and lessons can never be silenced. So, they will invite you in and tenderly - so carefully - place a flame in your hands, and say:
"Here, this is yours . It is essential and ancient. It has been divided over and over again. It's been raging and it's been dim, but we have never let it go out. Keep it close and keep it safe - keep it in your heart. You take a little piece of each of us along with you, as we did those that came before us. And someday you will ignite another. You are light and warmth and love and power. You are life-giving. And what is in you - in all of us - gives life it's meaning. Now go… and we'll walk with you."