Those of you who regularly follow this column know that I use today to introduce the woman that I am going to write about in depth on Friday.  Since April’s theme is Celebrating Diversity, I took the opportunity to invite a blogger who I have admired for some time, Carol Hand.  Carol’s blog is titled Voices from the Margins.  Carol is a member of the Sokaogon Ojibwe Community.  She has worked her entire life to help make life better for under privileged people in all communities.  But when I asked her to be my subject, she modestly declined and asked me to feature her mentor Ada Deer.  Ada Deer is, indeed, a force to be recognized and will be honored tomorrow.  But Carol wrote this poem for us and I would like to share it with you today because I think she also is a woman as I say on Friday’s ROCKS.


My friend Bernadette asked me to share my story

but I honestly don’t know how to start.

I’m not a seeker of fame or fortune or glory

just a little wizened woman who’s learning to live with heart.


Today when the sun is shining, heralding the spring

I can tell you as a child I loved to read and draw and sing

Now that I’ve retired (mostly) I have time to write and reflect

I’ve learned that life’s greatest joys are not what you may expect


What matters are not titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned

or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned

from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way.

They taught me to live with the gratitude and give thanks for each today.


It’s true I walked between two worlds, a foot in different cultures

a fascinating vantage point for meeting visionaries (like Ada Deer), and vultures.

Still, all have taught me valuable lessons that I won’t soon forget

most importantly to treasure kind and thoughtful friends like Ada and Bernadette.