“The first and most important woman in my life was my mother. As it should be, in an ideal world.” Candida Baker.
That is the opening line in this wonderfully modest and enchantingly honest book about our closest female relationships, a book that reminds us of the giddy highs and the blackest of lows that accompany us around our circle-of-life journey.
Like the author Candida, I never used to be one for thinking ‘crikey, I have a vagina therefore I am part of the womanhood’. Oh no, up until relatively recently I was more likely to poo poo anything that pitched me in with ‘them’ (them being women who go about their business with the quiet sense of knowing, wearing it like a secret, believing that they are ‘different’, special even). I wanted to be me first, I wanted femininity on my terms, I wanted to ‘have it all’, to be able to eat both halves, not just one. I wanted to be a full, unique individual.
But as is often the case with life I, like the women in this book got a little older (and I’d love to say wiser but you can be the judge of that) and started to feel the gravitational pull of the womanhood. Now maybe that pull was the same pull that has taken hold of my boobs and jowls intent on having both kiss the ground at some point as a way of reminding me of where I came from? Or maybe it is the fact that the circle of life is in fact a vortex pulling us towards ONE? I don’t know. All I know is that the older I get the more I value the circle, the time-honor journey of small, predictable changes, the ebb and flow of strength, beauty, responsibility and insight that is the womanhood.
The Wisdom of Woman is a series of short, personal stories written by a fine and diverse selection of Australian women and woven into a delightful patchwork by popular Author Candida Baker. Candida adds weight to the stories with her own private musings and revalations, introducing herself as the girl who had it all – fine house, famous and successful parents- only to lose the thing that mattered most, the love from her beautiful mother at the age of 11 through alcoholism and depression. What makes me love this book so much is the honesty and openness in which each of the women not only talk about the relationships that surround them but also about how they came to understand them.
It has taken me some time but finally I think that I have realized being a woman and being unique, individual, free and unlimited are not mutually exclusive concepts. I am also finding that day by day, week by week and year by year I have a deeper understanding of the strength, power and allure of womanhood and for that I am truly grateful.
Get yourself a cuppa and find the time for this. It is the most uplifting of books.