One year ago, on this day, things were bright for me: Huge white star over the porch, lights all around the house, colorfully wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree, carol in the air, an old friend was coming over for celebration.
One year later, my house has no extra lights and no shinning star. My cat Foxy - something I loved beyond words can explain, died this year and I will not celebrate Christmas because I can't deal with his overpowering absence.
And yet, I am not sad. I am not lonely. I am not wearing a glum look. I am content.
To quote Walt Whitman (one of my favorite poets), "Do I contradict myself? very well then, I contradict myself".
But its a contradiction with a logical base: I am in an awesome phase of my life, having had an awesome year! And I say this as a woman from a developing nation, a woman journalist who writes on 'non issues' like environment and development and a woman for whom the road always became a mile extra longer than it usually is.
All of those women in me had an awesome year, first starting the year with a huge risk of working independently, risking starvation, then finding World Pulse, becoming a Voice of the Future, getting a mammoth family of sisters (and brothers), getting love, getting support,getting hope which firmly put a ground under my foot.
Great things happen when a woman finds support: she discovers her inner strength (stops looking for it elsewhere), to speak for herself and for others and her faith in all things good and positive grows. She raises the bar of her own limitations constantly, like a Poll Vaulter raises the height of his bar. She becomes more forgiving , yet more demanding, when it comes to her rights. She expands her horizon.
And then she, the everyday woman, becomes she the wonder woman.
My sisters, I feel like that woman. And I want to say thank you for making me feel that. And I also want to wish you the same empowered moments, the same rush of warmth and faith in the veins. I want to wish you a great season of joy and peace and love.
And I wish you a wonderful year ahead - a year that will not just take you ahead of today in terms of time, but also, in terms of your rights and your achievement!!!