A single yellow rose graces our kitchen table; it was plucked from one of our back-yard rose bushes, adding a nice touch to a bright summer day. The yellow rose has a special meaning—that of “Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight and the Promise of a new beginning.” I like the symbolism of the yellow rose…especially the Promise of a new beginning…yes, the ability for renewal, for another day unfolding…with the opportunity to become whatever it is that we choose to have, to do, or to be!
I think that most of my readers know that I’ve always had something deep within me that connects to the career aspect of the feminist movement…that is, the right of women to have gender equality, in our careers, our educations, our lives. (How can I forget my involvement in the movement for women just to be able to wear pantsuits, instead of dresses in Corporate America in 1968? Yes, that fight saw me at the forefront! And Corporate America for women has changed!) A lot has happened in these last 45 years; indeed, young women today don’t even think about the fact that there once were social/cultural requirements for what you could/could not wear! Let alone what careers we could engage in, or what curriculums were available to us to pursue. (Yes, those gender barriers needed to be broken down). What does this have to do with the yellow rose? A lot.
I recently read an article about Gloria Steinem, who was both huge and controversial in the Women’s Liberation Movement. Now, at the age of 78, and after a lifetime of groundbreaking contributions, (some embraced, some not), she still believes that her greatest accomplishment has yet to happen. When asked, in a Q&A Session, what she thought her greatest contribution was, she quickly replied, “I don’t know; I haven’t done it yet!” Wow! Just think about the inspiration that message conveys —for each of us who are trying to make the world a better place within our sphere of influence, and who are likely a good bit younger!
Like the yellow rose, petals still unfolding, we each have new beginnings, new potentialities, and new days ahead of us. Our greatest accomplishments and contributions to the world may yet be ahead of us….no matter what our age!
Here’s to you! Lights On!