March 8th honors and celebrates women around the world. This day was declared International Women’s Day in 1913. The original aim was to achieve gender equality for women, but this has not been realized as of yet. The World Economic Forum found in 2017 that at the current rate of progress, the global gender gap will take 100 years to close. In 2016, the estimate was 83 years. Get more information on International Women’s day.
One can only wonder why women slipped 17 years in one year. It is a slow struggle, but things are looking up. I want to tell you about a woman whose story appeared in the LA Times (Jan. 2018) which gave me hope.
Her name is Rochelle “Rikki” Spector, council women in Baltimore who happens to be 80 years old. In December of 2016, she was attacked by two teenaged boys as she was getting into her gold Buick. They had skipped school and were looking for cars to steal and they saw Rikki. They were not kind to her and the violence was swift but brutal.
At the court hearing for the boys, she was approached by Michelle Suazo, cofounder and vice president of UEmpower which provides a range of services, including teaching youths how to become cooks. Suazo convinced Spector to help these boys claim the life that could be, away from crime. Spector knew from her religious beliefs that staying angry was not the answer. “You have to do acts of love and kindness.”
She approached the older boy in court and told him, “Kids don’t hit grown-ups.” He burst out crying and hugged her. She was hooked. The boys were put on house arrest and had to report to the Department of Juvenile Services for supervision and drug testing. Through UEmpower and with approval of the court, the boys attended cooking school and got jobs. Tutoring was also provided. Their lives got turned around, as was Spector’s who is dedicated to fixing the juvenile justice system.
This story doesn’t raise the power of women in the workplace, but it shows the power of women in society. Listen to Irene Claremont de Castillejo’s words in Knowing Women:
“The autumn of a woman’s life is far richer then the spring if only she
becomes aware in time and harvests the ripening fruit before it falls and
rots and is trampled underfoot. The winter that follows is not barren if the
harvest has been stored, and the withdrawal of sap is only the prelude to a new
Celebrate your womanhood this month.
See you in Bellingham.
The Snake of Sunlight
One of the most famous ancient Spring equinox celebrations was the Mayan sacrificial ritual by the main pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico.
The main pyramid – also known as El Castillo – has four staircases running from the top to the bottom of the pyramid’s faces, notorious for the bloody human sacrifices that used to take place here.
The staircases are built at a carefully calculated angle which makes it look like an enormous snake of sunlight slithers down the stairs on the day of the equinox.
The Mayan Calendar was very precise in this respect, but today the Mayan calendar is most famous for ending exactly at 11:11 UTC on the 2012 December Solstice.
Knowledge of the equinoxes and solstices is also crucial in developing dependable calendars, another thing the Mayans clearly had got the hang of.
For more info on the equinox go here: https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/march-equinox.html
Update on Joyce Perata
Upon the recommendation of the “#1 brain surgeon for referrals of difficult brain cases in Colorado”, Joyce has decided not to have surgery but, rather, yearly MRI’s to monitor her brain tumor’s size. Instead, she will begin two months of radiation treatment this month. She is grateful for all the prayers on her behalf.