Alison’s post and an intense walk in the woods with my huntresses had my mind racing. On our walk-hike, I was pondering what my fur-girls’ totems might be. After a funny group name from Thursday night’s leadership training, I’ve taken to calling Sissy “Honey Badger” because unless you’ve been under a rock you’ve heard recently that honey badger just don’t care. Indeed, Sis is fearless and has no known predators. Hem. While I think Sis is much sweeter and softer, that’s the whole point of a strong totem, right?
Gretchen is a little trickier. She needs a super-strong totem, and definitely something deep within her sustained her during her 19 hours of being separated from us, including a stormy night in the woods (so we have to assume), but I can’t see her embracing a Mama Grizzly or anything of the sort. No, Gg and I decided her totem is a bobcat, after I insisted that the new Princess Catherine Barbie could NOT be a totem. Hem. She is almost cat-like in some of her mannerisms, and the diminutive wild feline is no weakling. It is also a local species, although that’s true for virtually all of North America. I’m quite sure Sis doesn’t care that her totem isn’t American, not because she isn’t patriotic, but because… Honey badger and Sissy just don’t care.
Because Gretchen kept reminding me she’s a full-blooded Crup so she doesn’t need a totem, my mind also went to things Harry Potter. While I love my pink OBX ballcap, it’s no Sorting Hat. Still, it doesn’t take magic to realize that while Sis is smart, loyal and sometimes pretty darned cunning, her dominant trait is bravery, so Gryffindor she is. This time, Gretchen was even easier. I briefly considered Ravenclaw for her, but her loyalty is what defines her, and Jack Russells as a breed are known for their sense of justice, so Hufflepuff she is, without a doubt. Ironically, Hufflepuff’s animal symbol is a badger, but don’t tell Gretchen. Ravenclaw’s is an eagle, and Gg hates birds of prey, since a massive hawk used to do fly-overs every single morning when she was a wee baby.
But back to the title of this post. While I was having some silly fun, I also stopped to reflect upon the women I admire. There are historical figures to be sure… Gretchen also asked if Margaret Thatcher could be her totem and THAT gave me pause, but the trees said no, totems are animal, not human. However, these days, my s-heroes are the women around me blazing trails and making the world a better place. I have a friend who is a professor in the Engineering department, and another whom retired a couple of years ago from building one local non-profit into a super-star and just a few weeks ago became the new executive director of yet another. They lead by example, and that – above all things – speaks to me right now.
That’s not to say that I don’t have a serious collection of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quotes, or that I’d turn down a chance to have tea with Madeleine Albright or Condoleezza Rice. I could go on all day linking to powerful women in business, art, science, etc. but I really want to know who your s-heroes are and even what House you think you’d be in at Hogwarts. Me? I go back and forth between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor, but I could make an argument for most any of the houses… yes, even Slytherin, because I favor traditionalism, resourcefulness and evidently, I have plenty of leadership qualities… If I had to choose today, Slytherin just might win because I’m gearing up for St. Paddy’s Day and feelin’ green!