Every day is International Women's Day. Or should be. We all owe our lives to a woman. We exist because of a woman. And women contain the greatest mysteries and the greatest depths of us all. I'd like to think International Women's Day is a reminder that every day is women's day.
I wrote Glimpse to honor the women in my life. And I'd like to use this opportunity to share more about the woman who laid the seeds for the best qualities I contain as a human being. My mother.
I grew up in awe of my mother. Her love for life made the everyday (walks to school, reading a book together, listening to music, going to the grocery store) turn into marvelous adventures. She has an incredible presence, and it enriches everyone who comes into contact with her. I could see it as a young boy, the way people would light up in her company, and seem to suddenly come alive. As if they'd felt for a moment it was okay to be themselves, and to show their best selves. She made my childhood one where imagination and possibility were able to thrive. Through her courage, her grace, and her thoughtfulness, she made sure to carve out a space in the world where her children knew dreams were safe to grow.
She introduced me to music, painting, and literature, when I was very young. She is a very talented musician, and I grew up hearing her sing, hearing her play the piano, and hearing her strum the guitar. She had french horns and xylophones, maracas and bass guitars, and as a child she would sing and strum her guitar until my brother and I fell asleep. We never had cable. Our home was filled with books, paintings, and instruments.
My mother instilled in me a deep appreciation for nature. As a child, our walks to the beach, or through the forest, would turn into wondrous seafaring journeys, and exciting woodland expeditions. Standing atop a piece of driftwood, at six or seven years old, and feeling as free as a peaceful pirate surveying the sea in some distant land, was her giving me the gift of imagination. A priceless gift that has continued giving into adulthood, and continued to transform the world around me into a more magical place. A place of possibility.
Despite enormous personal challenges throughout her life, my mother has remained steadfast in her grace, her thoughtfulness, and her acute sensitivity of the effect we all have on the world around us. Time and time again, I have seen her courage, and her dedication to the responsibility we carry as individuals to move through the world in a way that will benefit those around us. Even when faced with obstacles that would make most turn embittered, or want to spread their suffering, she has lead by shining example, and her courage continues to leave me floored. In adulthood, as I did as a child, I remain in awe of her.
The world can be a very confusing place growing up. There was a time when I felt like I didn't matter, and like my value was less than the people around me. My mother, despite facing her own great challenges, helped me fight these feelings. She helped me feel like I have a right to exist, a right to feel, a right to be who I am. Through her unique style, her dedication to being herself, and her sharing of the arts, she helped me become the man I am today.
So to every mother, and to every woman on this day, I write this as a salute to your bravery, as a thank you for your generosity, as an acknowledgement of your power, and as a constantly awestruck witness to your grace. Thank you for birthing the magic that exists in this world. Thank you for being you.
And to my mother, the love you gifted me opened up the possibilities of the world, and made me feel like my two feet had a place in it all. It's the most priceless of gifts and one I will never squander.
Love to you all.