Friday, May 09, 2008

The Small Arms of May

The Small Arms of May

DISCLAIMER: this is not a pitch for or against any presidential candidate.

April showers are supposed to bring May flowers – at least that’s what the song says. Were the truth be told, the song may scan as it does because the librettist was more concerned with fitting his choice of plain-spoken American English with the flow of the music: tempo, intervals and harmonics, chorus and other repetitions.

For the reality is that we seem to get as much rain in May as in April, if not more. We are also seeing more extreme weather, not only more intense storms and more of them, which increases the potential for flash flooding and other high water. Should the other end of the scale – drought – be the tendency, these conditions likewise seem to be intensifying, forcing thousands from the land and into refugee camps.

Talking of disasters the Friday before Mother’s Day – a day when one of the traditional gifts is a bouquet of flowers – may strike many as a poor choice. Yet there is a tie: on website is a page that includes notable women rulers – with the list itself don an ordinary wooden ruler. Four of the female rulers name lived before Christ, with the very first being Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt in the 15th century BCE, and the last Cleopatra in the first century BCE – also Egypt.

There is then a break of more than 1,000 years to Eleanor of Aquitaine who was Queen of France and then of England. Some 16 other women who governed their realms, including that odd couple in the last century, Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth II, were identified on the ruler.

Undoubtedly there are many more. The point is that women are still under-represented in leadership positions even though they are regarded by most as thefar less aggressive gender. Maybe someday a critical mass will emerge and the world would have fewer wars.

This all comes to mind because of the descent back into anarchy of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, where a colleague spent yesterday and last night huddled with two co-workers on the floor to avoid being shot. The trio were able to get out of the city to relative safety. But the experience will be with her for years to come.

Happy Mother’s Day


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok this is not about women.

I am a Vietnam vet and read your blog from time to time always thinking i will say hello
I was a linguist in the army's crazy cat radio intercept flying program out of Cam Ranh.
I came home to find Quakers. Your blog is interesting to me, I wish more people read and responded to it!
charlie from Cascabel Arizona (worship group under Pima Meeting IMYM)

8:19 PM  

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