A Feminine Motif: Part 1

Isabella McCall, Columnist • ikmccall17@ehc.edu

Black water lapped at the bottoms of their boats, causing them to rock so gently they appeared to be dancing. Dark, dancing boats on a black river, their bows and sterns filled with bright green flora freshly picked from the gardens of their only passengers whose colorful profiles sat in the hull as they called out to each other. Each boat touching the other until they formed a small island state in the middle of the river.

Like every island state they had their own government and exchange system. The leaders, the governing system comprised of older women who had bartered and sold their wares throughout the delta. These women ruled over the others with their experience and almost faultless wares. Their limes and bananas were less bruised than those of the younger women and their green bok choy was much more desired by the women who walked along on either side of the river. These walking women waited for the dancing boats full of fresh ingredients to float over so that they could haggle for just the right bunch of bananas or plastic bag of limes.

Every morning as the sun came up or the clouds gathered, there in the river the women in their dancing boats began to cluster while the women of the city meandered from their homes to the river banks waiting for those boats to give them the day’s sustenance.

It had been like this for more years than anyone could remember. Even the oldest of the floating women could not remember, she knew the same story as all the other women. The story that all of their mothers and grandmothers, great grandmothers and so on spent the small hours of the morning picking fresh bananas, limes, bok choy from their gardens, filling their boats, then rowing off to the city where they bartered for items their families needed.

This morning ritual fed the people giving life to their culture, furthering the circular motif of life not only in the delta they floated through, but in the world as well.

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