A Standing Woman

In the days before Mother's Day this year, Standing Women sent out the following request:
Please stand with us for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. your local time on May 13, 2007, in your local park, school yard, gathering place, or any place you deem appropriate, to signify your agreement with the statement [above]. We ask you to invite the men who you care about to join you.
Being a solitary, a poet, and a country woman, I decided that I would stand, not in a park or school yard, as those places are not natural to me, but on the front stoop of our house in rural Bourbon County, Kentucky. My husband stood by me, as he has done for 35 years now, and so did our son. It was on this stoop that we kept our candlelight vigil four years ago, on the eve of the War in Iraq. It seemed appropriate.

It was very quiet in Kentucky at 1 p.m. on May 13. For most of the time, the only sound was that of the wind in the trees and the birds fussing at their nest-building. Later on, we heard the noise of a jet in the distance.

The sky was a cloudless blue, the sunlight butter yellow. The grass and the trees wore their shiniest springtime green. The wind moved in waves through the tall pasture grass. The black locust was just beginning to show its white, sweet-smelling bloom.

The male oriole, flitting from locust to locust in his gorgeous orange-and-black and singing his simple but elegant song, was like a Renaissance courtier, a Donne, perhaps a Sir Walter Raleigh. The robin with his puffed rose-colored vest was more a country cleric out of an Austin novel.

What a beautiful place I live in. How privileged is my family to have this quiet safe haven, to share a place with these beautiful creatures.

I mourned (and still mourn) that there are children in the world who cannot experience some version of this quiet and simple beauty. This is the world I would dream for them now and for seven generations to come.

Yet I was also strongly comforted by the thought that women were standing, as I was standing, in simple, eloquent protest, standing up in ranks as the world turned.

Other women are sharing their stories at the link.


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