Today’s post is my writing assignment for the Kween_of_Queens blog ring. Please go HERE to read more entries like this one.
The difference between a Lady and a Woman.
This topic has deffinatly given my pause over the last few days…. For as obvious as the answer to this question was to me when I first received the assignment it did not stay that way for long. The more I pondered the question the more the answer eluded me. There is no cut and dried answer and the more I think upon this question the more I am convinced that the answer is different for every person…. so here is my answer.
For me the difference between a Lady and a Woman can best be described by the pictures of pioneer times….
Often when thinking of these times in our history my imagination is pulled by the Ladies of society back east… When everything revolved around how much of a Lady you could be. What social circle you belonged to, what kind of marriage you would make, what kind of life you could provide for your daughters, all this and more rested upon the shoulders of a Lady. They were elegant, educated, admired wherever they choose to go.
Woman who exude that elegance… that little something extra that makes you admire the motions of their hands and the gentle sweep of their hair.. Gentleness in spirit that draws you to them…
But is not a Lady made of tougher stuff than this? Does she not have a quiet strength to withstand the trials that come her way? Is she not also a Woman?
When I think about the pioneer times my imagination is also drawn to the pioneer Woman. She is a Lady who chooses to leave her home, pack up all the things she must absolutely have and a few secret things that she can’t imagine living without. The last trappings of being a Lady.
Somewhere along the journey out west the Lady becomes a Woman… maybe it was watching the Lady that rode in the wagon two behind hers succumb to illness and die… buried along a road, left behind but never forgotten. Maybe it was seeing the young girl whose family owned the wagon in front of hers loose her leg to snake bit and then die of fever. Never allowed to grow up and become one or the other.
Maybe it was just being one of the only survivors. She survived only to spend the rest of her life in hardship. Leaving behind her refined home with indoor plumbing for a small shanty with dirt floors… (Though in two years they should have enough money from the harvest to put down planks, that is of course if nothing happens to the crops.) Trading her life of polish for one of work.
But is not a Woman made of gentler stuff than this? Does she not have elegance about her when she sweeps out her little dirt home? Does she not still plant the few seeds she brought along with her and have flowers in the spring? Is she not also a Lady?
You see for me, in my mind the difference between a Lady and a Woman is nothing more than circumstance. I believe that we all have both inside of us… and how we live and what we survive determines which we will be.
I see both in myself.
I see the Lady in the blankets and jewelry I make. Gentle gifts and crafts for a Lady’s hands. The gardens I tend, nothing like flowers to grace a Lady’s home. The times when my spirit is quiet and gentle and my heart is moved for the people around me…. It is then I am a Lady.
I see the Woman in the place I have carved out for myself in this world, despite the odds. I see her in the children that have slipped through my hands. The losses that have made me stronger. The times when my spirit wants to battle and my heart is moved to protect the people around me…… It is then that I am a Woman.
I see both in every woman.