I've had an unusually social week. If I wasn't having dinner with company, I was out with Carly seeing the final installment of Harry You-Know-Who in 3D or having a thirteenth birthday celebration for my niece Lainey.
Summer's been particularly enticing this year. Each year, I'm drawn out into summer more. I get panicky when I think even a few moments of it will be wasted. My mother experiences the same thing; I checked on her last week during a nasty heat wave and she was cranky and feeling squirrelly, trapped indoors.
Most of the summer has been luscious though. Now that I'm working in the downtown core I escape several times a day for a walk around a different block. There have been a number of blog posts in my head, but didn't get written because I can't stay in.
After this very social week, I must say I'm enjoying having some alone time tonight. But I'm glad you're virtually here, and so I think it's appropriate that I share a little of my summer, and some of those unwritten blog posts with you.
Oh, and have I mentioned there is a new little boy in our family? I have a new nephew, Logan James, a tiny (well not so tiny) harbinger of all kinds of beautiful newness to our world. You might not like this when you're a teenager Logan, but right now, you're beautiful thing fifty-one.
Tomorrow I'm off in a rental car to another event which can't be talked about in advance. But when it's over, I really will try to share it with you in writing.
I’m celebrating all the women in my life today, particularly my daughters and my nieces. In Canada, the theme for International Women's Day and Week 2011 is Girls' Rights Matter, recognizing the importance of equality and access to opportunity for girls and women, and inviting us to not only reflect on the situation of girls in Canada, but to look beyond our relative privilege at home and recognize the situation of girls around the globe.
I’m filled with gratitude that I could raise my daughters to be educated, independent and strong. To be able to choose careers, to choose partners, to contribute to their communities, to vote and to make their own decisions about their own lives. Compared to many, many young women internationally, they are exceedingly lucky.
When it adopted its resolution on the observance of Women's Day, the UN General Assembly was recognizing that the participation, equality and development of women are fundamental in securing peace, social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights (UN Women Watch). We’ve come a long way. And we’ve got a long way to go to implement meaningful change for all of us, not just us lucky few.
To all the women who have enriched my life with your love, strength, compassion, humour, intelligence, generosity, kinship, support, ideas, knowledge, creativity, silliness, thoughtfulness, awareness, kindness, stubbornness, talent, work and art – you are, collectively, a bright and shining mosaic, and beautiful thing number 22.
The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all. ~Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Leader of Burma's Democracy Movement
Considering beauty, and things number five and six of 101:
Number five: Seeing the world through the eyes of a daughter is beautiful. For me, it is the opportunity to live life again through them, and be reminded of what it was like to be in the world when I was young. Being in the world with my daughters is to be reminded of what it feels like to love completely – and to be loved, unconditionally.
Today is a particularly striking reminder of that, and today I'm particularly thankful for these daughters. Read the last part of this post from last year to find out why.
Number six: This photographer – Miroslav Tichy, who I discovered at one of my favourite blogs, Accidental Mysteries. The haunting photographs were taken with homemade cameras, and finished with homemade frames. The photos were controversial because his subjects were usually unaware they were subjects. The beauty of his images is unarguable.
I suppose I also feel akin to Tichy because the subjects of my little stories are most often unaware of my attention to them, and I, too, have been taken to account for it. What seems clear: this artist loves his subjects as much as I love mine.
The foundation set up on his behalf has set up this website:
Last evening my mother and I were treated to a gorgeous dinner of pasta with shrimp by my daughters at their place. That my girls have created such a warm and comfortable home gives me a lot of pleasure. We love to celebrate over meals in our family; it's fortunate that we all love good food, and take its nourishment both physically and spiritually. As such, events around shared meals are always happy times for us, and they always include lingering conversations around the table.
It’s magical to celebrate the thread of generations running through us. My sisters and I have always regretted not having ever known our maternal grandmother, for she is no doubt a source of a substantial part of our sensibilities - the way we see and experience things. But we feel it; somehow we know this element of us, and that’s the magic part.
And yesterday I was celebrating my mother. Steadfast in her love and support, she’s always had my back, from the time I was little to me now at 49. She is wise, sensible, spiritual, gentle and faithful. She’s a friend, role model and confidante. She passed on to me a love of simple pleasures, home cooking, natural fibres, nature and a comfortable home. And nice feet.
Yesterday was the day we celebrated it, but every day I’m thankful for my beautiful mother, and the line of strong and wise women behind her, who through that golden thread of ancestry have shaped who my daughters and I have become.