Spirit of Spring: A New Celebration
With March upon us, I continue to be baffled by how quickly time flies by. Yet simultaneously marveled by the power of each present moment, which, as it passes, transforms into a memory, a part of our personal story, a part of collective history. March always seems to be a month filled with hope. Having grown up in the Midwest and spent the majority of my young professional life-to-date grounded in Boston, March always seems to signify spring’s arrival. After the long winter months, each day holds the potential for the sun to break through the clouds and melt away the chill; but while it persists, the contrast of the gray sky somehow seems to make the budding green all the more vibrant. Spring feels just within reach.
In addition to the mark of spring, I often look forward to the celebration of St. Patrick and the contagiously joyful spirit of the Irish. I must admit, somewhat abashedly, that it is only recently that I came to know March as women’s history month. As a feminist, by my own open-ended and continually evolving definition, in philosophy, a doula in training, a women’s health warrior in practice, and a nurturing mother in spirit, I am constantly inspired by the divine feminine energy that connects us all. Whether I’m offering emotional support to an expecting mother in labor or making a big pot of soup for my community/family dinner, I experience a heightened awareness of the ubiquity in the midst of the individuality of each moment. As each contraction rolls through, I sit in awe not only of the strong and beautiful woman rocking in front of me, but also of the countless women who have shared in the experience of childbirth. Somehow, as the soup simmers and the aroma permeates my kitchen, I start to hum a familiar tune from the depths of my soul that has undoubtedly been sung before.
Yet, despite that awareness, it is rare that I celebrate this feminine spirit as part of a community. Which, when I offer it space, is riddled with irony seeing as it is the experience of community that I cherish in these daily experiences.
In the midst of the feminist era of “leaning in,” how might we perhaps take a step back to celebrate the collective history of women? Where do we look to find rituals and traditions for honoring all mothers and daughters and sisters that have come before us and carved the path that has lead us to where we are today? How might we share our stories of the women who have given us life, inspired us, nurtured us, and maybe even broken us down? How do we find our voice? What does it sound like and what story does it feel like sharing today? How might we listen so as to give life and credence to the stories and experiences of others?
With a fresh breath of hope, I am welcoming March with a new framework this year. It is with humble gratitude that I seek a space and community to collectively share and honor the voices and stories and experiences of all women. If you (like me), can’t join in person as Still Harbor gathers people together in community to do so this evening, I challenge you to join me in doing so where you are, with the people you love, and perhaps even the people you meet or share an experience with this month.