Why Women Are Like Trees
The first day of spring is marked for me by a smell in the air of what I experience as hope for the future. Breathing in that first breath of fresh air that smells like dirt, and rain, and renewal; that's always been my favorite. It's the calm after the storm, the fresh scent of possibility after months of utter darkness, both literal + metaphorical, where I'm from in New York. We have four distinct seasons here, and even when hustle culture says 'keep going', there are times, like snowstorms, where we physically can't. Perhaps it's this foundation of knowing that primed me for an understanding of my female body.
Understanding the female Menstrual Cycle in the larger context of nature's cycles makes more sense to my bones than anything I've ever known. Follicular, Ovulation, Luteal, Menstrual. Like the seasons, each of the four phases has its purpose. And grounding in like a tree, we grow and bear each one, over and over and over again. Cycling through stages of initiation, action, harvest, and rebirth.
Being a liberated woman in today's day and age means constantly feeling like you've stepped out of the many boxes society wants to place you in. I need to understand you, they say, so I may judge you off of what you're wearing, your physical appearance, what you post on social media, and how you parent your kids. Then, I can compare myself to you and see where you fit. Like the trees, we are so much more than meets the eye. To know us is to be constantly surprised by us, for we are ever changing - no two weeks exactly alike. However, unlike the forest, woodland, or jungle, our society defaults to a judgement state. Women, in particular, fall victim to this mindset largely perpetuated by years of exposure to toxic advertising designed to leave us with the feeling of never enough-ness. So on instinct, we cast the finger outward, a reflection of the way we treat ourselves.
I know you want this cycle to end, and you don't know how.
I know you want good things for this world.
I know you are dying to break out of the boxes they've tried to fit you in.
Quite literally... we are dying. We are killing off parts of ourselves to fit the mold. We are locking away emotions and desires that don't have space, or feel culturally acceptable. We yearn for our silver bullet, the thing that will finally leave us feeling fulfilled. If only I had _, I would finally be happy. We feel like freedom is right around the corner, only to have it snatched from us right as we run up onto it. We do not feel good, mentally, physically, or spiritually. We suffer, and we grow bitter, because we have tasted liberation, and this isn't it.