Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Woman's Voice

(Summer Day at the South Beach of Skagen, P.S. Kroyer, 1884, Hirchsprungske Art Museum, Copenhagen)

My heart goes out to this little lady.

Humanity swarms all around her.

But she stands alone.

Her feet are planted firmly in the sand.

We can't help but notice her gently bowed head.

But it's those tiny hands that grab me.

They are clasped resolutely behind her back.

The summer sun blazes down upon her heavily clothed body.

We don't have to be geniuses to know what she is thinking.

"Why can't I join the party?" she seems to be asking herself.

Ten boys - all naked as jaybirds - romp in the waves.

An eleventh darts out to the water just behind her.

Someone has told the little maid that she won't be included.

So there she stands.

Bereft of joy.

A man once said to me, "You are very opinionated for a woman."

He was partially right.

I am opinionated.

My gender has no business being factored into that truth.

Some say it's a man's world.

I say......

only if we as women count ourselves out of the running.

Only if we choose to be silent.

My life has been all about needing to be heard.

I have talked.

I have screamed.

There have been times when I have bowed my head in deadly silence.

Too many times.

Now that I am old I know better.

I know that it is my God-given duty to speak up.

It is my sacred privilege to speak out.

I speak often.

I speak boldly.

And, yes, my opinions flow freely.

I feel driven to use my God-given power.

The power of my woman's voice.

I cherish my voice.

It is unique amidst all human life.

I speak so that one day something wonderful will happen.

When that day comes......

our little lady will be splashing gleefully in the water.

Smack dab in the middle of those pesky little boys.

And there will be no question.

She will certainly be invited to all the parties.

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