Dear Daughter

I am a daughter of queens and warriors, but not the kind you think of in stories. I’m the daughter of loud mouth bitches and opinionated women, the kind of women that demand you listen and make you uncomfortable with their truths. The kind of people who farm one day and carry a sword the next. Those women who are unafraid of the inevitable backlash. Those women who did all jobs, because they needed to be done. 

I am the daughter of men who speak firmly yet quietly, who don’t use masculinity as power. Men who respect women. Men who teach, and listen, and speak and urge their children to lead. Strong men are not the loud ones, but those who stand like stone and melt when they hold their daughter’s hands. Men who teach their sons how to respect and how to earn respect. Men who stand like mountains and bend like willows. 

I am born of free witches and calm giants, of men who have gone to battle and women who have healed. 

I am the daughter of kings and queens but not the way they’re told in stories. In my story, they’re simply who they are. Really, they’re farmers, soldiers, abolitionists and revolutionaries. 

My daughter was born into the mythology of my ancestry. I gave birth to a leader.

I bore an old soul into the world, a little girl more interested in crab apples and animals than the TV, a stubborn little mess of wild hair and blue eyes who has more respect for her natural surroundings than most adults I know. 

Daughter, you are the future. You are born of the blood of healers, witches, loud mouth bitches with opinions and truths that are hard to hear. If you choose to speak them too, I will encourage you. Strength, dear daughter, comes from within you. Do not look to anyone else to hold you up. You must be your own foundation; but I will always be there to help you up if you wish me to. Even if you don’t wish me to, I will be there, kneeling next to you and whispering;

“I love you. You are stronger than this thing that is bringing you down. I believe in you.”

You were born free, and I will fight for the freedom and defiance that runs in your blood. We can be ruthless when we need to be. I will be ruthless for you, dear daughter. I am your champion. I carry the sword for you, but I will teach you to swing it yourself. 

Mandible photography 2017

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