Women of Substance and Heart

Carol A. Hand

“The woman is the foundation on which nations are built. She is the heart of her nation. If that heart is weak, the people are weak. If her heart is strong and her mind is clear, then the nation is strong and knows its purpose. The woman is the center of everything.” (Late Elder, Art Solomon (Ojibwe), For the People: Teachings on the Natural Way) (Source – Shannon Thunderbird)

Across the past three generations in my family, it has been the women who nurtured the children and ultimately ended up as the primary economic providers. We are women of little importance when viewed from the prevailing paradigm that values material wealth, elite status, or fame – a nurse, a social worker, and a teacher. Yet each in her own ways continued to bring health, respect, kindness, and light into the lives of others.


Photo: Family Photo for my Mother’s 65th Birthday (1986)

None of our lives have not been easy, but somehow we all found the strength to carry on, to love enough to keep going, and to help others as best we could along the way. I am grateful for my mother’s example and my daughter’s courage and resilience.

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” (Eleanor Roosevelt) (Source)


Photo: The next three generations – Lake Superior 2010

I believe my granddaughter will carry on the tradition. She stopped her soccer match last evening as she knelt down to console one of the opponents who was injured. Another spectator commented that it is so like my granddaughter to stop the game in order to show compassion for another.

“A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is finished no matter how brave its warriors or how strong their weapons.” (Tsistsistas, Cheyenne) (Source – Shannon Thunderbird)

Copyright Notice: © Carol A. Hand and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carol A. Hand and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


32 thoughts on “Women of Substance and Heart

        1. I appreciate your kindness, Lynz. I’m fascinated by the stories you share about your experiences and I look forward to having the time to read more. From what I have read, it’s clear that you’re a strong and resilient woman, too!

          Liked by 2 people

  1. Interesting in Stop Thief: the Theft of the Commons (http://stuartjeannebramhall.com/2015/08/25/privatization-and-the-theft-of-the-commons/), Richard Linebaugh talks about European women being banned from their usual occupations as part of the enclosure movement. In many areas, women were restricted to brewing and spinning (which is how unmarried women came to be known as spinsters). Women who tried to engage in forbidden occupations (especially healing arts) were burned at the stake as witches.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fascinating history, Stuart. Although fewer positions are forbidden, the assimilative pressures are onerous and often effective…

      (I was just re-reading the history of colonial attacks on the status of women in Native American cultures. Missionaries and colonial leaders were horrified by the power of women and began the long, dedicated assault to gender equality.)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Kate.

      Those who see strength and beauty in others carry those gifts within themselves and sometimes, as you do, they breathe those gifts into their poetry 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your observations, and the quotes, are profoundly true, Carol. A culture that respects women prospers, while the one that does not, perishes. Kudos to the generations of dignified women in your family. If your time permits, I should like you to visit my site to read my posts titled, ‘Only Women’ and ‘An Ocean of Compassion’…best wishes.. Raj.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Again, thank you for lovely comments, Raj. I would love to read your posts. (I wonder if you would send links so it will be easier for me to find them? Readers will also be able to access your posts that way as well.)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely comments, Equality. It is wonderful to see compassion these days. (Of course, as a grandmother, it also makes me worry about my granddaughter’s ability to withstand those who are not kind…)


      1. Your Welcome it’s through blogs like your that people become more aware of this need and also how to embrace it themselves. And through the blogging community we realise that there are many out there bring this change 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: