The last few days have impressed on me the importance of women having other women in their lives. These are just a few of the things I've observed in the last few days: a neighbour and friend opened up to confide she's just been diagnosed with breast cancer, knowing she will need supportive friends down the road. A woman holding the arm of a friend recovering from a brain tumour, to help her balance as she walked. A woman sitting next to me in the temple helped me tie a bow when I seemed to be all thumbs. A friend offered to meet me to walk the dog together so we could chat while we exercised. A young soon-to-be-mother from the Philippines surrounded by women happy to be substitute moms and help her through this new experience. A baby passed from arm to arm down the row at church, face after smiling face beaming down on her. A blind woman on the subway being helped to a seat, and her seatmate striking up a conversation with her about her placid black guide dog. A friend had a baby prematurely, and a host of knitters instantly reached for their needles to bring comfort and optimism.
I'm reading a history of the Klondike right now, and I am struck by the feistiness and adventurous spirit of the women who left society behind and struck off into the Arctic to seek their fortunes, to make a mark on the world, to pan for gold and to start businesses and to staff the hastily-built hospitals. They flexed their independence in an age when it wasn't expected or even well tolerated. Where did they get their courage from? What made them jump to their feet, pick up their boots, and say "I can do this!"?
I think women are amazing. The ones I know are strong, stubborn, fearless, determined, with a vision of what they're capable of and what the world holds for them. They see a need in the world and a strength within themselves that can meet it. I really believe that when we pull together, women can do anything.