A few weeks back, I was honored to be given the opportunity to attend a gathering of women from across the country. The purpose of this conference was to hear and validate the voice and role of women when it comes to the future of our environment, our humanity, and the well being of future generations.
For the most part, I have viewed my influence on future generations to the small scope of the six children that reside in my home and how we, as organic dairy producers, choose to manage the ground that is in our possession. Sometimes this is more than enough to feel fulfilled and at other times, well, I feel like I could be doing more. I truly felt like this conference was an opportunity to broaden my scope to new ideas, points of view, and voices that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to hear any other way. It was an adventure waiting to happen – an investment I was willing to make to deepen my perspective on my role as a woman and a caretaker of all that surrounds me.
The Women’s Congress for Future Generations took place in Moab, Utah. As I drove alone in the peaceful quiet of my car, I realized that not only was it my first trip to Moab, it was also the first time that I had gone anywhere alone. I was a little frightened, but also very excited for the opportunity to connect with others and to be at one with my thoughts without the interruption of hands pulling on my shirt and asking me for help. I could be completely open and in the moment, ready to take it all in.
The beauty of Moab was breathtaking and so was the experience I had there. Right from the start, there were women surrounding me and an unspoken sense of sisterhood that resided. I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintances of many women from around the world. One came from as far as Russia to have her voice heard, but most were from the United States from varying cultures, religions, and backgrounds. The differences made it an incredible melting pot of perspectives. I enjoyed the friendships I made and time I spent with Laura, a straw bale construction consultant, Ivana, a food and lifestyle coach, and Marie, a timebank facilitator. Their thoughts and insight were interesting and beautiful.
The conference, itself, was a line up of diverse women with a myriad of life experiences and agendas. We heard from Carolyn Raffensperger about the work she has done in regard to the public trust – the government’s responsibility to take care of the earth and air in it’s domain. We viewed some short films talking with youth from different states voicing their opinions on climate change. We heard from Laura Kamala, who is hoping to add 1.4 million acres to the Canyonlands National Monument. We also got to take part in a Theater of the Oppressed put on by Peaceful Uprising. It was an interactive experience where we talked about how we can use privilege to help those who are oppressed and how everyone experiences in privilege in different ways.
As I drove home, I couldn’t help but feel very blessed to have taken the “road less traveled” venturing out on my own, making new friends, hearing new ideas, forming bonds of sisterhood, and becoming more aware of issues that will affect future generations and how I can be a positive force in moving forward. I only wish more women would take that road, the one less traveled, and find that when united, we can make a difference.