Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Am Woman

"If I have to, I can face anything / I am strong (strong) / I am invincible (invincible)"

Two centuries ago and an ocean away, my foremothers fought for their land against those who would claim it in the name of a foreign king. Even while heavy with child, they tilled the soil, planted seedlings, raised their voices and fists, and healed the land. They carried market baskets, mud bricks, water buckets, and each other. They were strong, invincible, badass babaylan.

A century ago in these prairies, Alberta's foremothers tamed this land to yield a bounty for their families. Even while heavy with child, they tilled the soil, planted seeds, harvested crops, and made the land prosper. They wielded shovels, hoes, axes, and even shotguns. They were strong, invincible, badass pioneers.

This morning, as my husband languished in bed with a chest cold, I pushed a plastic snow shovel through eight centimeters of snow just enough to create two grooves for my car tires. I was going to try to shovel the whole driveway, all 25 feet of it, but my back went ping! and I was sortof running late for work and shoveling snow is a Boy Job and I shouldn't exert myself in my delicate condition. Well, except for water aerobics and yoga. That is hard work right there, my friends.

Okay, seriously? I felt like a giant piece of suck-o-tash this morning. I felt like I had failed all these badass women on whose shoulders I stand. They probably worked until they gave birth right there in the fields. I'm sure they squatted-and-squirted, picked up their babies from the earth, strapped those beasties onto their breasts, and kept on working the land. I got tired shoveling two sloppy car tire grooves into my driveway! Hell, I get winded waddling up two flights of steps!

I am the daughter of Amazons and tigresses! How did I become such a lazy bastard? I'm going to think hard about that while I polish off this box of Oreos.

"I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy
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