What is a western woman? Where are they found? What roll do they play in society? Billie Flick on Claire Plush Oregon 2016
In all of my travels to far off places I have heard about Cowgirls and the romantic air that it gives. In my poetry and on paper, people had labeled me and my work as cowgirl poetry, but as they read it, they began to question the label. Asking me to give them a better description of who I am and what I write. I thought as I grew up I wanted to be a cowgirl and have romanticized a bit on the subject until I met up with a western woman by the name of Mary Field in Bananza Oregon.
I made the mistake of calling her a cowgirl. I guess it was not a mistake because it changed my life from her response. I also attempted to call her a desert rose which also did not seem to impress her stature as a woman. So began my lesson; I asked how she descibed herself? Her answer was, She never had to. She was just a lady buckaroo.
From going to the kill pens and pulling horse hair, to braiding her own rawhide, to feeding with her team of horses and packing a cougar pistol, that she could use with skilled hands. I realized I hadn’t even begun to experience life and living.
As I continued my journey I have met several other women who most can’t see from the road. They are hidden behind the sagebrush, up the draws, and intertwoven in living and supporting life. With caloused hands, they live on the raw edge of mother nature. They gather, protect and challenge themselves beyond their own abilities. They are western women.
From what I have seen and experienced, these women are self made, self resilient and self sufficient. They are grounded and bonded to mother earth and the life she has to offer. She is the women who doesn’t dream about being free and riding the rough country because she already has done that, and at times dreads the feel of the saddle, the bite of the wind, and the burn of the sun but she does it anyway.
Hitch, Plush Oregon Nov. 2016
These women play a silent role in society, of raising beef, doctoring those who are sick and feeding those that are hungry, it does not matter, human or animal, seldom thinking of herself. She can doctor a calf, speak to her team of horses with soft words and leather hands, calve out heifers, and start her colts, all on her own time.
Most western women that I know don’t waist time with a mirror or search for designers clothes. They may take a moment and look at their hands and realize they have traded beauty for experience. They usually head to town in their levi jacket and clean levis. They can be seen at the grocery store gathering supplies to last a month or so. Then fade back into their life, helping friends and neighbors when needed, warming calves in her front room at her fire or helping a colt with crooked legs. They fix meals, do bookwork, and get the bills paid on time. Billie Flick, November 2016 Plush OR
These women are what have made me realize, I have only begun to understand inner strength, grit and compassion. Learning to live and enjoy the little things. The friendships and laughter at the simple things. To value life and death. Respect them both equally with appreciation of the experience, while giving strength and courage that is bound by heart and soul.
Society may judge her for what she does not have, but her friends silently admire her for what she does.
As I look at myself and what I have done, I will continue to admire and respect the western women that have influenced and humbled me. I will continue to write for them and their values hidden deep within everyone of us. For if I were to identify me or describe my self for others to understand I would like to say I am becoming a western woman.
Take care God bless
visit my website, akmossbooks.com for more info and performance dates.