On March 1, I had an idea so clear and bright that before I knew it, I was sending out this email:
“I’m putting together a month of blog posts for National Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is Women’s Education–Women’s Empowerment. Women’s stories are near and dear to my heart, and I believe they are important to you, too. I admire your writing, and I would be honored if you would be willing to share a story and/or photos in a guest blog post at www.angelakelsey.com. I’d love to read your stories of women who’ve contributed to your education and/or your empowerment, in whatever way(s) you choose to define the words and convey your stories. Poetry, prose, and photos are welcome.”
After the initial email, I exercised no more control over this series than I did over the hydrangea pictured here, and the pieces worked together just as beautifully, just as organically. With the exception of knowing that I wanted to contain the posts within the supportive bookends of Jeanne and Julie, I posted them in the order I received them, and if you read them in order, I think you will see that a whole, greater than the sum of its parts, was formed.
Part of me, not wanting to impinge upon the nest that’s been created of its own accord, wants to post an awestruck retrospective that simply says, “Wow.”
Wow to the synergy and the dance of the posts with each other. Wow to the openness and the willingness of the writers. Wow to the women they honor, the personal journeys they share. Wow to those who continued the conversation through their comments.
Another part wants to acknowledge the generosity of each woman who gave of herself and her life and her stories. Another part wants to highlight some of the themes that emerged.
So, in awe mixed with gratitude, I do a little of each, although these pieces are so tightly interwoven that they touch each other in many more ways than I can show here.
Wow–to Jeanne and Josie and Ann and Sally and Cheryl and Liz and D., who celebrated collective feminine power in Fran and Marcia and The Fierce Feminine and Hey Girls, We Slipped Up and A (Wonderfully) Mixed Relationship and Her and This Little Light of Mine and Loving women comes easily.
Wow–to Shannon and Alana, who wrote about their grandmothers in Happy Birthday Viola Sylvestra and Her Unseen Hand on My Back.
Wow–Julie and Bindu and Teresa and Kelly and Streetlights, who wrote about mothers and mothering in Empowerment and The Birth of Compassion and The Body as Nest and Lesson Plan and A Transforming Force.
Wow to Illuminary and Megan, who described solace and comfort in Auntie Jaquie and Someone Makes a Nest For Me Today.
Wow to Meredith and Bridget, who celebrated women teachers in Short But Sweet and Wonder Woman Hilda Raz.
See what I mean? Just–Wow.
Now: how can we continue the spirit of nest-making every day, with every breath and step?
What a beautiful creation you have put together. Thank you for the chance to be a part of this…
Sugar, this was a wonderful, moving, touching, exuberating, fulfilling, sustaining series, and I can’t begin to tell you how honored I am to have been a part of it. I’m also honored to have witnessed such a vast diversity of the ways women support women. The one thing they all have in common? Each post is written by a crackerjack writer. Bravo to you for conceiving, compiling, and conducting this orchestra and bravo to the musicians who created such vast, ephemeral, lingering harmony.