Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An International Womens Day Celebration: Island-style

Last night on Cortes Island there was a island-wide meeting asking the community to comment on the first draft of our Official Community Plan. I didn't remember that it was the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day when I decided to do an oracle card reading for guidance about the evening's meeting. Political events on our island can shade toward conflicting and sometimes slide right over into combative when residents have an emotional and financial investment in the discussion, and I wanted to be prepared with some spirit-directed insight into the event.

I drew this oracle card from the Journey Oracle deck and was somewhat puzzled by the image and its statement. Could it be that I was being asked to remember to speak about the other-than-human residents of the island that also need representation: the seals and eagles and wolves? Is it their spirit prayers that needed to be answered in our planning for future development and environmental management?

Moments later I was going down the driveway in the truck with the radio on and I heard about the origins of International Women's Day in the early 1900's. It emerged from the Suffragette movement to win women the vote, and this year some 1722 events of celebration were being planned. Suddenly I felt the oracle card was about our public meeting being on this auspicious day, and that the "spirit prayers answered" were those of our Grandmothers and Great Grandmothers who made such sacrifices to gain the power to participate politically their future. What better celebratory event could there be for International Women's Day than to gather as a community--women and men together--and participate in the messy, frustrating and extremely satisfying business of determining our shared future.