Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Writing, Teaching, Language, Landscape, Life


In Celebration of Heroines—Moms and Daughters

Wynn, Dawn, Joan, 2001

But behind all your stories is your mother’s story, for hers is where yours begins.
— Mitch Albom

It is fitting that May brought both Mother’s Day and Wynn’s high school graduation. It is fitting to celebrate both of these women in the same month—both of these women are my heroines. A heroine, as defined by Dictionary.com:

          1. a woman noted for courageous acts or nobility of character:
          2. a woman who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model ideal
Both of these descriptions express the exceptional character and spirit of Mom and Wynn. I dedicate this piece to the celebration of all of our moms and daughters in all of their unique strength and spirit. When I visualize the connections between mothers and daughters, an infinity sign appears. There is no beginning and no ending, but instead a forever connection, threading each new generation with the women whose lives created her own.

“I never knew how much my heart could hold until someone called me Grammie.” ~Joan Wink

Mom and me, 2017

Mom and Wynn share granite strength under their generous spirits, smiles, laughter, and kindness. Both of these women have chosen to shape their lives not defined by the challenges that life held, but instead by what they want to share with the world—generosity of spirit, kindness, and love. On the days when I feel weak under the pressures of life, I don’t look far for inspiration. On those days (weeks, months, years…) when the weight of life feels too much, I look to the experiences of Mom and Wynn and how they handle them. Whatever I may be experiencing soon pales in comparison.

I have been blessed to have a mom who lives how to create a life abundantly rich in passion for family, friendships, and career. She greets all aspects of life with as much—if not more!—energy now than ever before. She shows me how to live a life of love and positive energy with family, friendships, and passion for what we do at the core of all. “Bloom where you’re planted,” she tells me. In states and on ranches across the West—Wyoming, Arizona, California, Texas, and South Dakota—she has not only bloomed, but
tirelessly encouraged others to do so, as well.
Wynn composes the art of her life through each individual act. She chooses each word and thought expressed with deep intention. Again, again, and again, I have witnessed her choose kindness and love in all situations, including situations that tend not to inspire responses of kindness and love. Wynn lifts herself beyond the situation and into the greater context. Her generosity of spirit and graceful way of living humble and inspire me.
The strength of character, way of walking through this world, and essence of love of both of these women inspire me every single day.
 So to celebrate Mother’s Day and Wynn’s graduation seemed only fitting.
For Mother’s Day, we made our annual Mother’s Day pilgrimage to Restaurante Rancho de Chimayó, where we had the traditional prickly pear lemonade for kids and prickly pear margaritas for adults. Luke drove up from Tucson to join us. Wyatt was at 14,000 ft. on a mountain doing what he loves and guiding a trek.

Mother’s Day 2017, Wynn, me, Luke

Prickly pear lemonade for kids and margaritas for adults.

I saved my gift from Mom to open:
 From Mother’s Day we segued right into Wynn’s graduation from St. Michael’s High School. Mom and Dad arrived, just as they did for Wyatt’s graduation, and Luke’s. It’s not a Wink event unless you’re lifting something heavy and working, so for this graduation, our goal was to get a roof on the ramada! Dad immediately grabbed a hammer and dove in with Noé.
 When the great day arrived, we all piled into the pick-up. Mom’s face should be right with the boys.
Off to the Cathedral Basicilica of St. Francis of Assisi for the graduation ceremony.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Our graduate!

Grammie and Bop Bop love Wynn.

Wynn and Noé

After graduation festivities. Luke, me, Noé, Wyatt


May was a big month for my heroines, Wynn and Mom. Both begin a new chapter of life. Wynn with high school graduation and Mom with her appointment to the South Dakota Board of Regents. It is a blessing to be the generation between two women who never cease to amaze, inspire, and strengthen me. Congratulations and love from the bottom of my heart to you both.

In celebration of the magnificence and wonder of heroines.

Wynn and Grammie, 2017

Wynn and Grammie, 2001


Women’s March—Why I Marched, The Smallest Voice Counts

The Smallest Voice Counts ©Wynn Wink-Moran

A few months have come and gone since the Women’s March in Washington, DC. While the divide yet runs deep, conversations that span the spectrum of beliefs within my own circle of women friends give me great hope that there is so much more that unites, rather than divides us.

If I could tease out a single thread of what unites us, it is found in our humanity, our common experiences as women. Experiences women have shared throughout history that even the most divisive political rhetoric cannot splinter. The political has become the personal. Many of these conversations take place in hushed voices, an intimacy of experiences and trust in the other. We sink into shared history and present. What kind of a world do we want for our daughters? For our sons? For ourselves? For the gorgeous, varied humanity with whom we share the planet? We want the best for our world, our children, our families, for the children and families of others. I trust in our shared experiences throughout history to bring us together.

Wynn Wink-Moran

Three generations of Wink Women flew to DC and boarded a bus to march. I lift up the spirit of the march here through the photos of my daughter, Wynn, and powerful words Why I Marched by forever friend, Dawn Dobras, who when asked why she marched wrote sheer power and beauty.

Wynn experienced the march through the lens of the camera. I did not know what she saw or captured until we had returned home. 

©Wynn Wink-Moran

Dawn Dobras

Why I Marched by Dawn Dobras

I was asked this weekend, why I marched in DC and am sharing this my response below:
I marched this weekend in DC in the women’s march– which easily could have been called the Humanity March.
I marched for the women’s right to choose. Regardless of how you feel about terminating a pregnancy, I marched to protect a mother’s right to choose that outcome.
I marched for every mother, woman and man that is an immigrant. I’m a proud descendant of immigrants and believe our country is stronger for them.
I marched for religious freedom. As a wife and mother with Jewish kids but being Christian– I don’t want to see any individual need to register because of their religion and can’t support a Muslim registry. It wasn’t good for Jews in Germany, Japanese in WW2 in the US and it’s not ok now. At all.
I marched for racial equality, because I believe that it’s not the color of the skin that determines your contribution to our country or your rights as a citizen.
I marched for the LGBT community because I believe your sexual orientation does not change your place in our community or your rights.
I marched for every disabled friend and parent of disabled children. Their presence in my life enriches me greatly and does not deserve mocking.
I marched for providing health care for mothers and children– who by the numbers, are most likely to be impacted by lack of access to health care.
And I marched for Mother Earth! Climate change is real and every day that we fail to recognize this we are failing our children and grandchildren.

Mom and daughters march together: Dawn, Mary Ann, Amy Dobras

Finally, I did march to preserve women’s rights. I am the deep beneficiary of the women who marched before us. You have a law degree, I have an MBA. But that wasn’t always the case for our mothers or grandmothers. And I can’t support a president that believes a women’s physical appearance and being a “10” is more important than my brain power and my ability to achieve.
I have a very high bar for a leader of 200 million people and I was marching to remind him that there are consequences for disregarding basic human decency.
All that, and I feel so honored to be a part of this weekends march. I have never felt more American, and more connected to my fellow citizens than being a part of a swell of people– all ages, races, sexual orientation, nationalities– asking for basic rights to be respected by our leader. It was a life experience that I will always remember and look forward to the next one.

With love,

Dawn Dobras

I discovered interspersed with photos that Wynn took of the march were photos of stark beauty.

We re-discovered family. Roots, roots, roots, and a whole new family constellation of stars formed in the sky.

Cuzzin Martha, Mom, Leslee, Frank, Mel, Wynn

As my cousin, Mel, said, “When you meet family that you never knew you had and aren’t even technically related to—but they end up being super cool.” #ByMarriageTwiceRemoved #StillCounts

Mom gave me these socks. True.

This stained glass felt made for the moment, “The healing of the world is in its nameless saints. Each separate star seems nothing, but a myriad of scattered stars break up the night and make it beautiful.”

Even the smallest voice counts. 


Educational Leadership in Costa Rica

Once upon a time in Costa Rica, a group of teachers came together in a magical place called Escuela Espiral Maná. Here in the midst of all, we wrestled with angels about how to create educational leadership through blogs.

Founder and educator extraordinaire, Mary Scholl created this school and this course through sheer heart and expertise. I was fortunate to be invited.

Together, we wrote, read, created, laughed, wrote, struggled, and wrote and learned some more.
We explored leadership, education, writing, and compassionate communication under the eaves of plants and tin metal roofs.

The teachers gathered together supported one another in our journeys.

The angels of the kitchen, los angeles de la cocina, sustained our bodies and spirits, as we learned.

We collaborated, learned, talked, learned some more, and created.

Our week-long journey had each of us thinking about our professional and personal journeys of contribution.

Noé with a gorgeous cup of coffee on our final day.

Our journeys continue. We each strive and stumble our way through the dance of life, teaching, and writing.

Thankfully, we are together in our journey.



That would be “Backyard Tango”

Dear All, can you tell that I was thinking about all to be done today? For the first time ever, I sent out the last Dewdrops with the draft title of “Backyard-Luke.” It had to happen sometime and today is the perfect day! 

Out the door. The “Backyard Tango” continues!

Love, Dawn




Calving Season – A Cowboy’s Heart

It’s calving season on the ranch again—eternal rhythm of life.

Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Dad with calf Daddy with Calf. Art by Adam Bunting

It’s calving season on the ranch. This painting of my dad conveys the essence of his spirit and heart. Tears sprang to my eyes the first time I saw this piece. A surprise gift for my parents, Bunting conveys Daddy’s spirit and heart. A treasure. Artist Adam Bunting painted this portrait from a photo taken by Sherry Bunting

It’s calving time on ranches all over the world right now. Not only do these calves represent life, they represent generations of bloodlines, untold hours of caring for their mothers, the mothers before them, and on and on… In honor of the heart, spirit, and weeks without sleep that comes with calving, art and poetry to honor all. In honor of the history and hope that is calving season:

Daddy with calf. ©Sherry Bunting Daddy with calf. ©Sherry Bunting

A Cowboy’s Work

by Tirzah Conway

A cowboy’s work is never done,
Like Sheppard’s among…

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