fly free


“Nollaig na mBan” is Irish for a really cool holiday I took part in for the first time yesterday.

It means “Women’s Little Christmas” — so called because of the tradition, which is still very strong in Cork, of Irish men taking on all the household duties for the day leaving the women free to head to the pubs and party with their friends, sisters, mothers and aunts.  The holiday is typically celebrated after the Christmas season on Epiphany Sunday.

At a table of old and new friends at a packed Keegan’s Pub in NE Mpls yesterday, I was grateful for the chance to remember how much my life has been enriched by the women who’ve been there for me in ways that only women can be there for each other. 

Round the table we went from face to face and heart to heart to discover what was new and where we might fit together or help each other.  It’s artful the way women make connections and yesterday had all the ingredients of an especially exquisite weaving.

One woman’s bold move to leave the corporate world for the first time in 27 years for a completely open slate. 

Another’s eyes bright with the acceptance of a marriage proposal from a wonderful man introduced to her by the woman sitting next to her. 

An account of the gutsy announcement in the CEO’s hallway — “I’m sorry I won’t be at the meeting because I f—in quit” — that paved the way for an exciting new promotion.  (who knew?)

Tales of creative bliss after formal retirement from the business world — 

A substantial new power ring with butterfly wings on the finger of a brave woman saying good bye to a 30-year marriage.  Wings to fly a good friend free from a dying relationship that threatened to take her with it. 

Glorious wings that we earn only through our most painful, private struggles and skin sheddings.  

How blessed/

indeed we are/

among women.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

2 thoughts

  1. THANK YOU, Julie – oh magician of words – for capturing the spirit of our lively and LOVELY group. It was a delight to spend the afternoon with women who impress without even trying. I wish YOU abundant success, which you deserve and is certain to come, in this next step on your journey. Happy 2008!

  2. Julie,
    How graceful your words are!!!
    I too really enjoyed talking to everyone and getting strength from their(your) strength and experiences.
    I am positive that 2008 will bring many good changes and much success.

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