Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What does it mean to be a matriarch?

There was a time when the word "matriarch" meant--to me, at least--old and matronly. There was no way I wanted to be a matriarch. No disrespect intended to matriarchs everywhere but I saw myself as the anti-matriarch type. I was a child of the radical feminist age, graduating high school in the 70s and absolutely sure that I could have it all. Life, of course, came along and showed me differently. A diagnosis of a chronic disease caused me to stop in my track and have to reidentify myself--this time not by secular standards but by the sort of standards that reached back in time. Way, far back--thousands of years back to the Matriarchs who really understood what it meant to be female: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today, I embrace my role as matriarch and see myself in a whole new light. I know how I define "matriarch" but wonder, How do you define "matriarch?"