This is a tribute to women. To those who came before me, stand beside me, and light the future’s path.
This is a tribute to my grandmothers. Who immigrated, married, divorced, birthed sons and daughters, nurtured families, worked tirelessly, raised hell, buried their dead, and died with dignity. This is a tribute to my grandmothers, none of whom was silent, each of whom lived out loud. Who taught me to cook, play the piano, tell a joke, put things in perspective, and stand tall no matter how short.
This is a tribute to my mother. Who conceived of me, carried me, birthed me, raised me, encouraged me, learned to understand me, and helped shape me into the woman I am. This is a tribute to my mother who is strong and loving, steadfast and open-hearted. Who has taught me what it means to be a mother, what it means to hold a family together, what it means to be at once independent and interconnected. This is a tribute to my mother who listens to me, guides me, and will drive hundreds of miles in a heartbeat for me. This is a tribute to my mother who is also the loving grandmother of my children and commits the same to them.
This is a tribute to my aunties, my surrogate mothers. Who pressed cool lips to my feverish forehead as a child, kept my secrets, and treated me as one of their own. This is a tribute to my aunties who taught me how to smile, laugh, tell a good story, understand our family's history, crochet, navigate high school, distinguish debit from credit, and ride a horse.
This is a tribute to my mother-in-law. Who raised the son who would become my life. Who welcomed me into her family and has taught me what it means to be hard-working and selfless, straightforward and honest. This is a tribute to my mother-in-law who freely shares her wit and wisdom with me and who respects my heart and mind even when they’re not in alignment with hers.
This is a tribute to my sister. Who grew in the same womb and shares my blood. Who taught me the root meaning of sisterhood. Who has so much heart and space for me—who is younger and yet in many ways wiser, and shares her life lessons so freely and genuinely and passionately with me. This is a tribute to my sister who sees me for who I truly am even when I don’t.
This is a tribute to my friends, sisters of other misters, who share heartflesh with me. They are thinkers and dreamers, magical reality weavers and pleasure seekers, rebels and peacemakers, nerds and style icons. They are mothers, single moms, stay-at-home moms and working moms, music lovers and music makers, activists and artists, business owners, chefs and travelers. They are daughters, wives and sisters, teachers and neighbors, yoginis and marathon runners, photographers and farmers, painters and weavers, herbalists and writers. They are doctors and nurses, money managers and tree climbers, housekeepers and house sellers, cyclists and secretaries and tree huggers. This is a tribute to them, to my tribe, to my spirit guides and inspirations, who have taught me what it is to be a friend, a woman, a bitch, a fighter, a goddess.
This is a tribute to the women outside my circle, who share humanity if not community with me—those women across the country and world whose existence either mirrors or shatters my own. Whom I will never know but whom I feel deeply. This is a tribute to you.
This is a tribute to the Great Mother. Whose terra firma roots my soul, whose waters nourish my cells, and whose sweet breath fills my lungs. To the Great Mother who birthed us all and provides all that we need to grow.
Thank you, women. I celebrate you and thank the goddesses for you!