COUNTRY♀WOMEN #8: The Women’s Movement in the Country

from "Four Voices from Blue Mountain"

  Nada: Looking Forward & Backwards

I was taken by the land; mountains, meadows, woods, no one living up-stream, and the spirit of the people.

I had come from the city. I was just beginning to form a consciousness about women; the possibility of feeling strong with the support of women. I was just beginning to drop my youthful fantasy about the prince charming I would meet who would be everything to me. I was just starting to realize that through the years, the people I was closest to longest were women. Also realizing I wanted a relationship with men more on the level of brother and sister, sharing the work and responsibility. When my friend June and I suggested a women’s meeting to some of the women who were here from the beginning, they said, “Who us? We don’t need women’s meetings. That’s for city women.” It was a threatening idea, implying some separation from the men that no one was ready or willing to make. It was a year later that we had our first women’s meeting.

Now we have women’s meetings sometimes every week, sometimes infrequently. There were times when we would meet at night and spent the night together, a few times when we spent two days and nights together. A time when eight of us lived together at the women’s house. Sometimes we meet at night around the fire. I used to have high expectations and desires for a deep level of intimacy at these meetings. At times it happens, other times it doesn’t. Sometimes I’m disappointed, feeling we haven’t fully explored or used our power as women to change things here. But I’m also aware of our growing connection with each other, a trusting and knowing we are here for each other. Discovering how we can move as a group, as one’s, two’s and three’s, with men and without men, as people whose lives, spirits and work are intimately connected. This winter we have emerged more as who we really are.

It seems important for each of us to come to a higher consciousness in our own way, at our own paces. I mean, four years ago, we could talk about sharing our life, our children, and our work on all it’s different levels. But only now and slowly are the changes really taking effect. We still have a long way to go. Only with time will we be able to sort out what we really want of the old and the new.

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