There are four of us, all women, all in our 60s, all of us passionate for women's liberation, all of us single mothers (two of us grandmothers), and all of us critical thinkers. Beyond these commonalities, for a small group of women, our backgrounds are fairly diverse. It wouldn't do any good if I tried to create a mental picture for you of "who we are." The categories commonly used denote "diversity" would not tell you anything of substance about us.
We meet frequently, usually once a week, taking turns hosting a potluck dinner. We discuss the personal and the political, and enjoy the pleasure of each other's company. We share perspectives that are rooted in long years of experiences as females whose desire for autonomy made it difficult or impossible to accept the rules of the game. We've paid the price for that.
And so we gathered around my table to celebrate the Solstice, an event that has been celebrated in many places all over the world, and in many ways, from the beginning of recorded history. There were no rituals in our celebration, just a special energy that flowed among us as we examined the choice of roles we were given to play in this Patriarchal world, the choices we made (and the reasons why), and the ways in which we have been socially constructed by rules that we had no part in making (and fundamentally oppose) to the detriment of our lives and our autonomy, as women. We talked about our efforts to subvert the imposition of Patriarchal control over our lives, some of which were relatively successful while others were not. We shared the lessons we've learned and discussed new challenges.
Together, we have more than 250 years of life experience. There is human value in the wisdom that has accrued among us. Although an individual woman's experience has meaning to herself, alone she is just a voice crying in the wilderness. When her voice is heard by other women who understand the nature of that experience (having lived some variation of it themselves), the experience becomes part of a shared reality. This is potentially very powerful.
And so, we enjoyed our little feast and good conversation. We shared a bottle of wine. As the sunlight faded from the sky and the city lights came up (from my 19th floor window beside our table, they are a beautiful sight on this cold, clear "shortest day of the year") we looked back at the lives we've lived so far and forward to a future that holds some very interesting possibilities.