Once upon a time I was 21 years old, and I lived far far away in a place called Rostov, Russia. On March 8 of that year I recall how unseasonably warm it was. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I could almost imagine warmer weather in my future. Walking through the park, making pictures out of the clouds in the sky, I was startled back to reality with the sudden presence of three people whom I did not know. Two men and one woman had surrounded me and each of them gave me a huge embrace and a kiss! Before I could say anything, they thrust a gorgeous bouquet of roses into my arms and then walked away.
I had never heard of International Women’s Day, so my only rationale for what had just happened was the memory of a television commercial I’d seen before that explained why complete strangers might walk up to you and give you flowers. But I didn’t think I smelled exceptionally sweet!
It wasn’t until later that day I learned about International Women’s Day, and the very political roots the holiday has in Russia. Not many people in the United States are even aware this holiday exists, let alone honor or celebrate the women in our lives. Today’s Google Doodle gives you some of the history of this time-honored holiday, and my friend Gini Dietrich is encouraging each of us to honor the women in our lives.
Who are the women to whom you’d like to impulsively, or contemplatively, give flowers? Why? Tell me about one (or more) of them!