This is a very personal message from my heart to yours.
This time of year always brings me to a place of reflection, contemplation and introspection. Maybe it has something to do with the hint of yellow in the Manitoba Maple Tree that shades the window of my creating space. You know her well.
It’s been almost twenty years since I carried her in my purse across the country from Northwestern Ontario to Vancouver Island. I felt like a smuggler of precious gems or illicit drugs as I stowed her beneath the seat in front of me, cradling her between my sandaled feet to protect her from being crushed or harmed by turbulent skies.
She was a beautiful young sapling, the offspring of one of the trees that grew in the back yard of my childhood home at 204. When we bought our little white house, our first task was to plant her firmly into the ground in a place where I could witness her beauty as she grew, worship her steadfastness, and write my stories within the grace and grasp of her tenacious spirit. I called her Marion after your grandmother. It seemed fitting.
The first day of school starts tomorrow. Those giggly-girl days of anticipation and preparation are far behind us now. No more shopping for new clothes, shoes, school supplies, backpacks and lipstick.
But this isn’t about looking back but about the art of the possible. And that exists in today and tomorrow. Not yesterday.
First and foremost Girl Warrior Daughters, I want all big and beautiful, audacious and daring, large, large, large things for your life. I don’t know what those are. But you do. Define your own largeness.
Don’t merely chase after your dreams. Devour them. Like they were the best meal of your life. Your last supper. Your first taste of sugar. Your introductory slug of booze. Your biggest addiction. Slay them to the bone. Then grind the bone to powder, put it in your shake, and swallow it good and hard. Drink it up.
Don’t smooth out your rough edges. Unless you want to. Any refining that takes place should come at your hand, not that of another. But before you pull out the refiner’s wheel take a long unfaltering look at those rough edges and be certain that you want to eradicate them, make them even and polished. Within the crevices, spikes and prickles are all the brilliant things that make you interesting. Not always “nice” or “easy” or “sweet” but so fucking interesting and fascinating and curious and so damned irresistible. So utterly breathtaking to me.
Take your time to figure it out, whatever “it” is. But remember that time as we know it, during this present earthly trip we call our life, is finite. Sad but true. While the possibilities might be infinite, your time to explore, employ, enact and enjoy all the prospects and promises is not. So don’t waste or squander, throw away or spend this time recklessly pursuing things that don’t really matter to you. Don’t blow things off for tomorrow. Instead, do a little something of what you love every day. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, just something that made getting out of bed worthwhile.
Don’t worry about the good opinions of others. You are none of their business. What goes on inside your head and heart belongs to you, is sacrosanct, sacred and untouchable. Express yourself respectfully but freely and always from a place of personal truth. At times this will require courage, and those really big-girl pants, but it’s imperative that you speak up when called to, break the silence when necessary, stand up for your convictions, and take a Girl Warrior stance. Do this regardless of who agrees or disagrees.
And last but most importantly Girl Warrior Daughters, know that you are always good enough. And I love you dearly.
Your Girl Warrior Mama-Boo