To My Daughter Who is Lost to Me,
Though you are born to your father’s wealth, you are also born to my spirit. In the farthest days when the world had no light and fae walked among humans, a woman of my clan inhaled the east wind. When she released the breath, the heat in her cheeks went with it to the east, and so great was her passion for light that her breath formed the sun. From the sun’s heat, she made the liquid glass of the ocean, and from that glass she made a pair of shoes. Long and slender, the glass wrapped around her feet as though it were her skin, but so coveted were they that she gave them to a fae woman whom promised to keep the shoes safe until a woman of the glassmaker clan needed them again.
And so this fae visits me in my dreams, cloaked in robes like flames, telling me what will become of you after I die in this bed. Yours is not a happy adolescence—you will weep while rats huddle at the backs of your knees—but you will learn, and you will be wise. Those who torment and force you beside the fireplace while spitting names and curses upon you, do not know your worth or the worth of any woman
A woman’s worth is not how many times she may fall in love. A woman’s worth is not how many times she may birth sons. Her worth is in the weight and shaking of her elbow joints she throws on top of the dough she beats at dawn while her household still sleeps. It is the beads of sweat on her upper lip while she cuts heads of lettuce from her garden. Her worth is in her muscles, strong and strained from her long days at the plow. You are a provider, a cultivator of the earth. Your worth is not only in beauty. It is also in your ability to survive, and sustain even those whom hate you.
My girl of ash and cinders, they treat you this way because they fear your power. You are fire they cannot extinguish, glass they cannot shatter. Wear the glass that shaped the world, and mold your life into your own.
Image by Arild Rosencrantz.