As a young girl I shunted wearing anything flowery. A pink spring dress with floral patterns? No! My mother indulged my demands for plain-colored T-shirts and shorts but teased me about the narrow escape I had at birth – I was nearly called Hana – Flower. Imagine.
And then something magic happened. Teaching in Tucson in the 90s, I witnessed cacti bloom. If the visual impact of flowers blooming among needles under star-studded skies was stunning, the fragrance of daytime cactus flora was even more spell-binding. The Sonoran Desert taught me that livelihood could be exerted in the harshest of climates.
That boldness was found in a New York textile company in the spring of 1908 when 129 factory workers were protesting women’s working conditions of the time. On March 8th, the owner saw it fit to shut down the protest by blocking the exits with the women inside and then set the building alight. All 129 workers died.
The 8th of March is marked world over as International Women’s Day. In Italy, the fragrant mimosa observes this day to memorialize the mainly Italian immigrant workers who perished in the factory, but also to celebrate the strength of women and their voice in challenge. Enjoy the day and feel championed by the women who went before us.