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Voices March 2024

“Come with me into the woods where spring is advancing, as it does, no matter what, not being singular or particular, but one of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.” – Mary Oliver

March has arrived and with it the beginning of spring. While the first crocuses grow their way into a warmer sun, we have two international celebration days at once: Arbor Day and International Women’s Day.

“Mother Nature”: a term we are all familiar with. This concept runs through different cultures and shapes our idea of the earth and our relationship with nature. It is as old as time, as we can see in the stonecarved Venus figurines originating from the Paleolithic era which are hundreds of thousands of years old. Discovered all over the world, they are personifications of fertility. Similar ideas are found in old mythology, like the Greek Goddess Gaia, the beginning of all life and the mother of creation.

Personifications always rely on attributes. For nature, they are fertility and maternal instincts of protectiveness and caring. These attributes fit the notion of a mother. Still, the Goddesses of Earth are often rooted in ancient matriarchal cultures. Whereas today, the female gender is often seen as the second, weaker sex, it first was associated with the power of creation.

In the end, “female” and “male” attributes are questionable concepts. In our modern world, we strive for equality, away from stereotypes. No matter the gender, we can break out of the boundaries set by social norms.

In this month, we think about what nature offers us, how we find confidence, how to dream big. We reflect on digital waste, as the digital clean-up day is approaching and think of new ways of living. Take the journey with us and enjoy this new edition of VOICES.

Johanna Krautkrämer

VOICES March 2024 PDF