Friday, March 8, 2013

Saluting All Women

Although International Women's Day has been celebrated since the early 1900's I was not aware of it until about forty years ago.  I remember the day so profoundly. My best friend, Eva, (Catherine's mother) asked me if I would attend an all day workshop for women at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. I was ambivalent, apprehensive, and curious, but how could I say no to my best friend? We were instructed to eat nothing for breakfast because healthy juices and foods would be provided as we cleansed our bodies and souls. During the day, we were advised, several women would lead us in physical and spiritual practices.
Eva and I cheated and stopped for coffee, never confessing our early on breaking of the rules. It turned out to be a day that changed both of our lives. For Eva, introduced that day to running, she became a dedicated runner, eventually competing in half marathons. I flunked at running but it was my first introduction to yoga, and within a couple of months I was studying at ACT with the leader, Bonita Bradley, a practice I continued for many years and still enriches my life.
When Eva died her daughter became my daughter. Catherine today is my anchor, my inspiration, and my advocate. She loved Lee equally.  Catherine has seen me through so many journeys, both physical and emotional, the latest being surviving a broken hip. Of course Cath is not alone in that; so many loved ones helped in such diverse ways, including the many volunteers who sat shifts with me in the hospital when things were spooky, and the other volunteers who packed up my house for the move to Oakmont. I am blessed and humbled.
So today, I toast all women.  I even toast myself! Aren't we incredible! Here's a picture I took of Catherine last year. Her blue eyes always inspire.

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