Wherever you go, appearances may be different but the life experience remains the same. The person who takes an in-depth journey becomes more and more sedentary. The number of destinations diminishes but the intensity of the experience increases. Within yourself, you possess life at its fullest. Embrace life at every moment and be thankful.

Earth, Women
Life and You…
By Élaine Drolet

A few years ago I celebrated Christmas with a couple of friends, the parents of two children, a boy and a girl. My girlfriend Gloria, an emancipated and determined woman, goes through life extolling the virtues of fairness and personal fulfillment—principles supposedly free of gender stereotypes, but that often dictate the paths we or our children follow. So I was not at all surprised when she gave her two-year-old daughter a magnificent red fire truck as one of her Christmas gifts.

However, my story doesn’t end there. While we adults were busy celebrating, we lost sight of the kids and suddenly realized that little Marie was no longer with us in the living room. Surprised and a bit concerned, we looked all over the house before eventually finding her in the basement family room. She was quietly playing with her truck. Actually, she was playing very quietly, because she had wrapped that truck in her favorite cuddly blanket and was cradling and singing to it.

I’ll never forget that moment. This tiny woman expressed so much love and attentiveness in her manners, so much tenderness and sensitivity, that I was moved to tears. There was such authenticity and spontaneity in the way she cherished what was precious in her eyes. What I saw at that moment went far beyond intellectual or medical constructs about gender. There was no pretense, just the essence of one human life.

I was deeply moved, but why? Her pride in being who she was challenged my own ability to recognize and appreciate, in a fundamental way, who I was. It was the echo of Womanhood that reverberated in me.

Each one of us carries a deep imprint that is both unique and universal. Unique in that it reflects our need for individuality and commands a lot of attention these days. Men and women grow up in a society that is constantly bidding them to affirm their differences. Despite “progress” in sharing tasks and professional space, one wonders if we are really getting closer to one another, or instead widening the gap that separates us.

I often have the impression that at their roots, social roles have not changed all that much. Rather it seems to me that Man and Woman have simply learned to switch places while still wearing the shackles that imprison us. When it comes to human freedom, there is a greater goal than sharing duties; it is the quest for wholeness and unity in being. These aspects do not arise from knowledge molded by the burden of history, but rather from the universal imprint found in the vastness of our inner lives.

We possess an inner nature with innate qualities that modulate the progression of Life within us and around us. As humans, we are Life in all its manifestations, but we fragment ourselves by wanting to be rather than simply being. All around us are challenges that remind us of our essence. Nature is full of reminders. Womanhood and Earth are in harmony; both carry fertility and can give rise to life, provided they respect their inner source.

To taste the fruits of the earth, one must have the ability to receive. Welcome the rain, the sun, and the seed, for they hold the promise of growth. Revere the passivity that allows the seeds of creation to be planted. Don’t fear the vulnerability that arises from unexpected change because it offers the opportunity to experience the care of others and reveals the value of attention. The list is long for singing the praises of the Earth, that sacred feminine symbol: celebrating its slowness, its attentive presence, its patience, its inwardness; listening to imperceptible signs of movement, the love of self that leads to love of others like an inexorable process for placing oneself in the world and perpetuating life.

But the Earth has fallen on hard times. It is not the physical earth that we neglect first, but rather our innermost connection to the Earth. Fertility is born from an encounter. The deterioration of the Earth speaks to the status of our relationship with all that is intimate within us and between us. The Earth is at the heart of Life, and in a living being Life gives rise to the heart. In the example of little Marie, the child responded to what she experienced with feelings and not with thoughts. Many women have forgotten the essential richness that dwells in their hearts. They look for Men to be what they themselves have suppressed. But we are all beings of light. This isn’t a question of sharing roles but of sharing a common essence.

Quite simply, each of us must first recognize who we are and then proclaim it proudly, without fear of judgment and without pretense. Each of us must learn to see what others express as an echo of their own dormant forces. In becoming whole ourselves, the opportunity arises for us to disseminate life in every word, every gesture, and in all our commitments. To give life is not just a Woman’s job, but concerns us all. We are not complementary, we are One.

I celebrate the Woman I am. I celebrate your beauty, Man. I need you to help me not forget. In your presence I remember that I can be confident, determined, energetic, and spirited. I remind you that you can be sensitive, attentive, generous, and patient. Let us together bear witness to the fullness of life, and give birth to the vastness of Life in all its forms.

Are you prepared to give Life?