International Women’s Day

March 10, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Once upon a specific time, Patricia, Colin and I were in Cuba at this time of year, staying near Havana in a resort. On March 8 of the year, we took a bus into the town to drink mojitos in the bar where they were famously invented and see the pleasures of the old city. As we disembarked from the bus, a Cuban man was standing there to greet us. He was holding several chrysanthemums in his hands and was giving one to each lady as she descended from the bus. One each for Patricia and me too but “not for you, senor,” said he to Colin – “this is for the ladies – for Women’s Day.”

We had misplaced the date in such a pleasant place but the Cubans were celebrating it. Sure enough, wherever we went: walking down the cobbled streets where pedestrians held priority, to the old cathedral and the antique homes, their tile roofs red in the sun; finally settling in the famous bar, with the wall of celebrity photos. Everywhere we went, as I was saying, we were celebrated.

Just back on February 22, a volunteer organization, CryNot run jointly by Orangeville Rotary and Compass Community Church, they with Victim Services Dufferin hosted a webinar on the problems of human trafficking in Dufferin. Terrible stories of young girls, typically between the ages of 12 to 15, groomed and seduced by older boys in their schools or younger men on the periphery of their lives.

Such a thing to be a woman and I understand what it’s all about but I don’t want to write about the problems between us, circles of mutual disrespect and resentment. People get married and they spent a lot of money there – I have been to some of those weddings and clapped and cheered and danced after the first dance. Some of them have succeeded and some have failed but failure always goes back to the basics.

Just a joy to feel that rush of love – that’s a miracle. It is fun to watch scientists try to explain it with theories about the brain’s individual parts and their functions, about chemistry – all sorts of proofs about instincts and the irresistible urges. None of it matters to the two people who are falling in love – well, it may seem that I’m only talking about men and women but anyone can fall in love with anyone. For sure. The rush is similar and intense; the questions and answers are alike and how sure and how afraid cross the boards.

There’s the lesson, of course: that love has no rules about who loves and who is loved. What matters is that there is love and it is what makes the world go ’round. You can’t really run a world on hate and greed and self-interest, although it does look as though that is how it’s all working now but they don’t explain life-saving bravery. Those failings get lost in the face of the first few moments of birth when the mother reaches for her child and the child turns to face the mother’s nourishing body. 

The foundation of who we are really rests in the pockets of our lives where we love and cynics be damned, even you know the flickering or the flame of affection – in a moment or for a life time.

I confess I write about love often. This is because it’s all we have that matters and let’s take it to as broad as is need be – let’s see it as a love for nature, for a group of people – small, intimate – wide and many. A circle of friends, we call them, loving them. A whole place where people are positive, feeding back into the community, doing their best to lighten the load – bring light into darkness – laughter into dread. All inspired with love.

The big picture – as big as it gets – shows us how wasteful we have been our whole existence. What can possibly be the one major flaw that is the counter to our main asset, the ability to love? This is not just people – please…everything, as Patricia has pointed out to me many times: everything loves.

Look at how nature works: in a forest there is a perfect system of interconnection: plants grow to support and be supported by other growth, by the inhabitants of the forest. There is harmony and wisdom in that forest which is neither beyond our comprehension nor impossible for us to emulate. 

All through the centuries, we have the proof that anyone at the top can be a terrorist. We’ve seen it and we are seeing it. The utter waste so endemic to our history – without power, wisdom or virtue at all and void of love…Only love nurtures. 

The little bee single-mindedly keeps this planet alive. That is love on a very big scale.

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