Our Spanish tutor, Sergio, reminded me this morning over coffee and verb conjugation that today is a celebration of women all over the word. “Feliz dia de las mujeres!” he said to me with honest eyes as his hands met one another in gratitude and his head bowed slightly toward me. And with that simple acknowledgement, I felt honoured, respected, appreciated, and proud.
Luke’s parent’s are visiting us in Guanajuato, and today is our first day together. We wandered the streets and through the plazas, marvelling at the stunning architecture, statues, plants, shops. My MIL Carole would get lost in awe from the vibrant colours, and gutsy designs…constantly imagining how we could bring some of this beauty into Vancouver Island homes, and whether it would even make sense. The doors, tiles floors, and even the mail drop boxes wooed us with their unique style and charm. Oh, and don’t even get us started about the hand-embroidered pillow cases that line their apartment bedrooms…we will both be ditching our belongings to bring those beauties home.
How lovely that our first day together is International Women’s Day. A day of appreciation of women by all people … and a day of connection between us. And I feel connected to my MIL today, more so than I have before. I’m struck by the little moments that breed connection, like her appreciating my love for my new hand painted mug and loving it just as much as I do. For knowing what I feel beautiful wearing and pointing out a stunning dress that she thought “would look amazing” on me. For seeing the beauty in the place we are staying in, and overlooking the less desirable parts that some might be struck by. For gently sharing parenting wisdom without judgement or criticism. For being willing to traipse across the continent to be a part of this incredible journey with us.
It was Carole’s idea to bring me flowers, not even knowing it was a day to celebrate women. Just because. We found our way to a flower vendor in la Plaza de Barantilla and marvelled at the simple wonder of fresh cut flowers. We each picked the stems that stood out to us – the little girls both chose bright red carnations, myself a white dahlia with bursts of purple and soft pink wild flowers, and Carole put together a bright bouquet of pinks, corals, and fresh greens.
This gentle, patient, hard-working Mexican woman smiled with gratitude as she carefully wrapped our flowers and wished us “Feliz dia de las mujeres.” We exchanged smiles, ubiquitous head nods of appreciation and understanding, and went on with our day with a little more colour, life, and gratitude for self and one another.
Author: Kate Butler
Kate Butler is a writer, a wanderer, a digital nomad. A mother of two, lover to one, and dedicated to living an inspired, colourful life. She co-authors Flipping Moons and has an online therapy practice, LiveLight Counselling.