Friday, October 30, 2009

Juliette Gordon Low and Samhain

I want to talk about someone who I greatly admired and looked up to when I was younger, and who I still greatly admire today. She isn't one of my ancestors, but she's someone I suspect I'll be thinking of tomorrow. (For my non-Pagan followers: tomorrow is Samhain, a day when us Pagans typically honor our deceased relatives and ancestors.) And, by the way, her birthday was October 31st. Yep, she was born on Samhain.

Here are some lyrics from a song about her which I'd like to share:

She was a dreamer brave and free.
A little ship, a great big sea.
She sailed to light the way,
The journey we've begun,
And someday may our lights shine together as one.

You can find the rest of the lyrics to that song here. I tried to find the song on YouTube, but I didn't have any luck.

She faced many challenges in her life, including a husband who wanted her pretend to have an affair with someone so that he could file for divorce without the name of his mistress being besmirch. Juliette faced this challenge, and others, with her head held high.

After the divorce she wanted to do something useful with her life, but wasn't sure what. Eventually she met Robert Baden-Powell in England (she traveled a bit), who was the founder of Boy Scouts. After that, she knew what she wanted to do.

She founded Girl Scouts (GS's) in the USA. I have my disagreements with how it's run these days, but I got a lot out of it before before I dropped out as a teen when I didn't like how the program was being changed, and Juliette...well, she was absolutely amazing.

She did create badges whose purpose was to teach young women housekeeping skills, but she saw no reason to limit us to that. She also created badges to teach young women about skills that might be used outside of the house, including things such as sports.

There are other things I want to share about her that are really random, so I guess I'll just list them off rather than trying to lump them into one gigantic paragraph.

~ Her childhood nickname was Daisy. I'm pretty sure that her grandfather commented right after she was born that she was a little daisy, and that she was called Daisy because of that.

~ I seem to recall that her parents met because her mother was sliding down a stair-case banister at a nice party and accidentally landed on her father, smashing his hat in the process. lol That sounds like something Juliette would do.

~ She loved art.

~ She sculpted, painted, drew, and did other kinds of art unless I'm quite mistaken.

~ She was in theater when she was young. I don't know about when she was older, though.

~ She was deaf in one year by about the time she was in her twenties, and at her wedding a grain of rice landed in her good ear. That grain of rice did some damage, and caused her to lose hearing in that ear as well.

~ Once when she was at a GS meeting she wanted to share some new shoes. The method she chose to share them? She did a handstand.

~ The first girl she signed up to be a GS was her niece. When she broke the news to her niece (after signing the niece up) the niece didn't want anything to do with it. However, Juliette was able to talk her around.

~ As I said before, she was born on Samhain.

~ She founded GS's on March 12th -- which happens to also be my birthday!

Who are you thinking of this Samhain? I'm also thinking of my grammie, who died last spring.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I hadn't heard of Juliette Gordon Low before -- thanks for the info! She's certainly a worthy person to admire. Samhain blessings to you, Sarita!

Sarita said...

Samhain blessings to you to. :)

Sharpie said...

How did you find out about her husband trying to get her to admit to an affair? I'm very curious about her marriage and am looking for resources about that time in her life. Do you have any advice? I'm a girl scout leader and think that older girls would be well served to know more about Juliette than just that she taught girls how to camp etc.

Sarita said...

It's just something that I learned when I was young. I don't even remember where the info came from.

Does your local council/neighborhood (I'm not sure if GSs even does things in neighborhoods anymore, though...) have a library? They might have info there. There could also be stuff online.