Why I wore pearls…
My pearls were indigo blue. Their color symbolizes justice and wisdom.
Before I watched Kamala Harris become vice president of the United States, I clasped my pearls around my neck. Not because pearls are beautiful. Not because Kamala wore them. Not because her sorority sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha wore them.
I wore pearls because they are organic. I wore them because they begin as irritants. I wore them because they are slow to form and become beautiful in time and in layers.
We women have always known that we are valuable and lustrous. We have always known that coating irritants with love would grow our beauty. We have always known our time would come and that when it did, we would show up in the world layered, nuanced, forged in the crucible of life
At ten, I wanted to be an altar boy. I was religious and loved the rituals of Catholicism. I asked the nuns who taught me why girls couldn’t be altar boys. I saw their sideways glances. I saw their eyerolls. I saw the resigned shrug of their shoulders. “Because,” they said, “girls just can’t.” I heard the implicit, “you are not holy enough.”
I was assigned, instead, to clean the church sacristy. I did so with reverence and bided my time. Many years later, the Catholic Church decided we could be altar girls. “Fancy that,” I thought. “It was so in the flip of a thought switch.”
At 15, I wanted to be a priest. I wanted to lead others to the God I felt and saw inside. A God beautiful and precious. The nuns around me laughed outright. I didn’t ask why. I knew. Because men thought I was deficient. I was not “holy” and “worthy” enough. I’m still waiting for the Catholic Church to flip the switch on that nonsense.
I never wanted to be president, but I hoped beyond hope that in my lifetime another woman would be. It is such a funny irony that a Catholic man, Joe Biden, lent a hand, stood side by side with a black woman, a woman of Asian ancestry, and together, they shattered and transcended the thinking about what a girl can do, or not. Just like that. There was no heavenly reason that a girl couldn’t be vice president – just an irritant earthly thought. The presidency is next. It’s only a matter of time.
I cried as I watched Kamala transform into Vice President Harris. I loved the beautiful chocolate color of her skin and the glossy sheen of her thick hair. I loved the sparkle in her brown eyes and the smile that curved her mouth. I loved the squaring of her shoulders and the set of her spine. I loved her pearls. There’s not an awake woman alive who didn’t hear the sound of the glass ceiling vaporizing, as ephemeral and yet as powerful as the thought of a man.
Vice President Harris is layered. Steely and funny. Warm and incisive. Loving and powerful. Devoted and courageous. Vulnerable and invincible. Listening one minute, speaking the next. Holding both children and gavels with grace.
All women are so layered, so nuanced. Our time has come. Whole and holy, we are pearls.
Copyright 2021: Linda Sandel Pettit, Ed.D.
Linda Sandel Pettit, a priestess-at-heart and retired counseling psychologist, offers Zoom-based or phone conversations from her home in the Arizona desert. She loves putting her intuitive nature, spiritual understanding, and clinical experience in service to others. For information about fees and packages, visit BOOK NOW. Use coupon code NEWYEAR21 until January 31st 2021 for a 50% discount on her individual conversation rates. Email Linda for more information or fee assistance.