Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Women of Wednesday: Lucy and Company

I’m en route from Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico to Bernalillo, New Mexico, our final destination today. We spent most of the day exploring Mesa Verde National Park  in Colorado. Gazing across the canyons into the homes those ancient people carved into the sides of those sheer rusty cliffs gave me a new appreciation for my own rusty brick home. It also gave me an appreciation for the skill, determination and copious guts these folks possessed.

How did they do it? And how did the women manage the day-to-day tasks life in a cliff house demanded? Water had to be hauled up from a spring at the head of the canyon floor. So did food, fire wood, you name it. (Not from the spring, but from elsewhere in the neighborhood.) (And you know it was the women doing most of the heavy lifting while the guys carved out houses and traded fish stories.) And I can’t even imagine how mothers kept their toddlers away from the edge. That alone would have been an all day job for me, if I managed to make it up the cliff in the first place. Actually, if I made it up the cliff I would not have come back down. I’d have been the first agoraphobic in history. Once ensconced, I wouldn't have left the house. Ever.

My Women of Wednesday post today is a salute to the women who did make it up the cliff wall, both figuratively and literally. We owe a debt of gratitude to those women upon whose overburdened backs entire societies have been built.

I visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science yesterday. There was an exhibit on the ascent of man featuring Lucy, no last name. I can only imagine what life was like for little Lucy, the Australopithecus female so high up in our family tree. “Easy” does not spring to mind. To Lucy and all the women who did the hard stuff (and are STILL doing it), you make me want to stop gazing at the cliff and start climbing it.


Diane Mayr said...

I can't even imagine life without a computer--what must it have been like without electricity and running water? Oy!

I'm Jet . . . said...

The days of yore -- those simple days -- were a lot more complicated. And yet, consider all the beautiful art ancient/native peoples have produced. They had time to make beautiful objects . . .