Women gathering to nurture women.
Inspired by the devastation of the Atlas Storm (that I wrote about in The Blizzard that Never Was), the organization Rural Women in America of Bowman, North Dakota created a day of inspiration, art, laughter, tears, and friendship for women in western South Dakota.
“Saturday was spectacular. An afternoon of laughter, and a few healing tears,” wrote Missy Urbaniak. “A sense of validation. That, yes, we had been through something hard. We deserved something special. Just for us. This is a very foreign idea to women of the prairie!”
I am grateful and honored to be included in the event. I couldn’t attend in person, so I arrived via video and spirit, speaking on, “Song Through the Storm.”
There’s a passage in Meadowlark in which Daisy Standing Horse shares Song with Grace.
“Every place, every creature has their own song. You just have to listen for them. You have your own song, Grace. Deep within you. Most people live their whole lives and never listen to the songs of life, not their own or any around them. Scares them too much. It’s easier to go through life living the way everybody else expect you to. But when you’re listening to your own song, Grace, you feel deep peace, right here.” She reached out and placed the flat of her palm on the center of Grace’s chest (p. 176).”
When I settled in to make the video and knew it would be cold in South Dakota, I built a fire in the fireplace for all gathered and started taping. In recording after recording something went wrong or didn’t feel right, and I started again and again. At last, I thought of family and friends, I thought of those I love and how life was transformed by the blizzard. I saw their faces, felt their presence, and imagined we were there together—and spoke. This is the video included above.
‘Live, Love and Prosper‘ was what took place in Union Center on Saturday afternoon.
This was a day prepared especially for the rural women who endured the storm, Atlas, in one way or another. It was a day packed full of activities that was sponsored by Rural Women in America.
Katie Dilse welcomed the women and got them excited about their special time together. She introduced the main speaker of the day, Reneé Rongen.
A presentation, via video, was given by Dawn Wink. She talked about her book “Meadowlark: Song Through the Storm.” Joan Wink gave an introduction of her daughter before the video and then answered questions about her grandmother, Grace, and the book. The book surrounded the topic of life on the Prairie and the challenges in Grace’s life….Rural Women in American’s mission is to inspire women by celebrating, cultivating and connecting their heart and souls with other women living in Rural America, empowering them to unlock their greatest potential.” more…
Artist Jodi Shaw shared a piece of her art inspired by the conversation about song in Meadowlark. Kerry Frei ordered a custom piece for her daughters and Jodi’s physical expression of these ideas brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw…and every time since.