Sunday, June 17, 2012


I think a lot about my maternal grandmother when I take my Morning Walks. It's the Coo of the Morning Dove that often brings her to mind. My grandmother lived to be 95 and she died when I was an adult. Now Gram lived in Pennsylvania (she was Pennsylvania Dutch) and we lived in Virginia. Our vacations were to go up North and stay with her and visit my mom's other relatives. I loved those vacations so much and have wonderful memories of times with aunts and uncles and cousins. But for me it was those summers I was "sent" up North to stay with my Gram and then one of my Aunts that I cherish the most.

And when my Grandpop died when I was like in 3rd grade, Gram would come back with us from our vacations and spend about a month or two. Now I come from a large family and so when Gram came to visit she slept with me in my bed. This continued even into my teenage years. I must admit that there were times when I hated that she slept with me, but I loved to hear HerStory!

As we laid in bed, Gram would tell me about her childhood and the days raising her 5 children. My Gram suffered through times that were lean and she grew up in poverty and then raised her children during the Depression. And yet, HerStory was always full of hope and love and survival in a positive sense. And while she was talking I often heard the Coo of the Morning Dove.

Gram taught me to "listen and watch". We would lay in my bed and listen to the Whip-O-Will sing it's song and she would ask me to image the Story it was telling. She would tell me about watching the the little children she babysat for to earn money after Grandpop died and how she loved "working" for the neighborhood families with small children. Gram taught me a lot as she told me HerStory. She also encouraged me to tell her mine!

HerStory! We are taught History (HisStory) more than we are taught HerStory. Which is odd to me since throughout the ages it is the Women Who hold the Stories in their Womb. It has been the Women to pass on the Stories of the Family to the next generation; it is the Women who pass on the Stories of Faith and Love; it is the Women who weave the web that catches each person in the Story of Connection to one another, to Goddess, to all of Creation. And yet it has been the Men who have written down the Stories and have changed them to fit their vision. Women throughout HisStory were not allowed to write out the Stories or to teach them from pulpits, in temples or even to others. But HerStory survived and for all intent and purpose it has been the correct Story.

My mom is the StoryTeller in her family and in ours. She is the youngest of 5 siblings and now only has one sister left who has advanced Dementia. My mom tells stories over and over again; sometimes til I get very frustrated with her. But what I finally understand is that these Stories; HerStory; are embedded in my soul and they have very much formed the way I have lived my life; the values I have; and the love I have all Creation.

What I notice is this Art of Storytelling has lost it's place in our society. We are very much Now People and we don't seem to take the time to tell the Stories that need to be told. Women no longer sit in Circle weaving, crushing Corn, making meals for the family. Women no longer find it important to tell the story to their young as we get too caught up in their lives and the day to day activities of "being busy." I am at fault too!

It is time for us to relate HerStory in our daily lives. It is important whether our Story is full of shame and abuse or whether our Story is full of happy times and love and care. It is all HerStory and it is told not out of power and control but out of love for the web that needs to be weaved as we walk in Gaia's Garden with all of Creation.

I loved seeing the world through my Gram's eyes. I cherish the memories of feeling the tears running down my cheeks as she spoke of those times when there were only 5 potatoes in the house and she fixed one for each of her children and she went to bed hungry. I knew then I would do what I could to help those people who were hungry and that is very much a part of MyStory. I cherish those times when my heart was full when I walked by her bedroom door and saw her kneeling on arthritic knees in prayer to the Lord she trusted to walk with Her as she traveled HerStory. I cherish the memories of her interest in teaching me how to weave the Story that would become mMyStory to tell.

Now I just need to honor her by telling it!

This a picture of my Gram a few months before she died. I now have the rocker that she is sitting in. This picture sits next to my altar. What an incredible Woman! What an incredible Spirit! What incredible HerStory she had to tell!

Blessed be!