It almost became annoying on my podcast, Reframe Your Life, how often I referred to this book. On every episode I seemed to find a reason to refer to it. It was the book that had the biggest impact on me in the past year. It's the book I recommend the most to the women in my life. A few of them have even read it!
In the first chapter, Sharon Blackie writes, "Before there was the Word, there was the land, and it was made and watched over by women. Stories from almost every culture around the world tell us that once upon a time it was so. For many native tribes throughout America, Grandmother Spider continually spins the world into being. For the Andean peoples of South America, Pachamama is the World Mother; she sustains all life on Earth. In Scotland and Ireland, the Cailleach - the Old Woman - made, shaped and protects the land and the wild things on it. In these and other Celtic nations, Danu gave birth to all the other gods and was mother to the people who followed. Women: the creators of life, the bearers of the Cup of knowledge and wisdom personifying the moral and spiritual authority of this fertile green and blue Earth." (I know that first line is problematic for people who believe before the world existed there was the Word. - it's OK, you don't need to agree with everything she says but read this book and you'll find yourself nodding in agreement with many of her thoughts along the way.)
Unfortunately, for most Western women we do not know these stories and as a result we have floundered. I resonate with the image of women rising rooted. We recently interviewed the author Mary Reynolds on Reframe Your Life. She said, "We treat women and the environment the same way." We want pretty well manicured gardens and pretty well manicured women. We exploit women and the environment. And it is women, I believe, who will be the ones to rise rooted and take our place as protectors of this planet.
I have felt uprooted for much of my life. It's only been in recent years that I've begun to connect with the land and to recognize the wisdom available from indigenous cultures in understanding how to become rooted so that I can rise in strength.
I'm ready to be called an Earth Mother.