Squinting into the sun, I could not see what was right in front of me.
The boys bounding over rocks, leaping casums and laughing at the day.
Their little sister, trying to keep up, but trailing far away.
Raising a daughter in this land has always been a climb.
Through terrain that does not love her, or care if she falls behind.
Women are told that beauty is pain.
That we should expect to endure insult, injury, trauma and make a wholeness out of the bits that remain.
The thirteen mothers before me; whisper what I need to do.
After all, this is nothing new.
I will show her where to grab hold.
How not to be prisoner to that superficial mould.
That our culture’s norms are enslavement.
A woman’s nature is ancient.
Old as the mountains and sea.
In the deep forests, caves and dark places she will find who she is meant to be.
In this nation; so obsessed with ageless maidens, I will show her how to become a gleeful crone.
That her curves, her creases and her actions are the only things she will ever truly own.
Together we will seek the moon’s council and bask in the sun.
We will dance around our fire,
Beholden to none.