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The cardinal color of Fortitude


Empowering words from the wisdom filled heart of my dear friend, Doña Roselia López: “...el color rojo significa la sangre que lleva la mujer; la fuerza, y la lucha que tiene…”. Doña Roselia is a Mother, Wife, Sister, Master Weaver, Leader in her Community, and President of the Women Weavers Cooperativa Comutech in Quetzaltenango.

“...the red color signifies the blood a woman wears; the strength, and the fight that she endures…”.

We all have friends. We all believe in the goodness of friendships that brighten one’s heart in full color as the rainbow after a storm. In this moment of cosmic disruption, my spirit is uplifted like no other time by the intense love and fortitude each weaver perseveres in welcoming her sunrises and thanking her sunsets with benevolence in the face of dire circumstances. The values these outstanding women weavers are gifted to live by are woven bright red in their spirits and their Huipiles or Güipiles (a woman’s blouse) they wear daily in fulfillment of their mission.

Growing up in Guatemala, I lived in awe sensing the intrinsic connection of the women weavers to their ancestral Maya language of storytelling to the many symbols and colors woven as a profound extension of human expression. And tied to the Maya cosmovision, are the four cardinal points of direction in the universe, each bonding to a cardinal color that tells us the story through time.

So it goes that, the Red color is to the East as to the White color is to the North, the Black color is to the West, and the Yellow color is to the South.


THE COLOR OF FORTITUDE

Warped in the weaver’s Huipil, as doña Roselia points out, the color red is symbolic of the strength giving blood that runs through the woman’s veins. It represents the fortitude that illuminates the very essence of her fierce spirit. The tenacity to stay on the path of fundamental direction in her mission for this world. Hues of red speak to the strength a woman endures to move forward and fulfil her purpose as caretaker for her family and provide for her home despite life’s obstacles.

Today, more so than years ago, I believe that the universe gives in unexpected and abundant ways. I have learned that each weaver I collaborate with, has been dressing with her ancestral color of fortitude. Truly a community of brave spirits taking refuge within their homes overcoming fear and staying the course weaving their stories warped with their very own colors of enduring faith and hope for future generations to hear.

A bedazzling sight of fortitude heard loud in all directions of the universe!

No physical distance, broken phones or internet divides have kept us from the goodness of friendship with my friend and mentor, doña Roselia. Clothed with her spirit of resolve, doña Roselia carries on her gift of weaving a life well lived with the color of fortitude. The color that suits her well as she moves forward strong in the face of adversity.

I am grateful for the gift of friends who bravely weave life with the color of unwavering strength. A cardinal color that I am humbled to aspire to wear and live by every sunrise and sunset.

May the cardinal color of fortitude be ever present in every woman’s heart and dress to highlight the beauty of her inner strength for her life’s mission.

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