We quickly snagged this photo at the Embassy Suites in Lexington. We were missing Sterling who was here the last three years when I could keep him in arms or stroller and Lilah who skipped her first Fruit & Vegetable conference in her decade on earth.
If you are a mama you’ve likely got spaces where you have carried, fed, rocked, strolled and kept your babies occupied while something bigger and beyond yourself carried on. I did my time here in this space.
16 years at this hotel, every year, right after new year, one baby at a time. Hidden in the room and at the pool most of the time.
This year I stood on stage during the opening session and shared the fruits of my labor as mother, wife, and farmer.
While Nathan was learning both in the field and among his peers I was learning in silence and solitude. There in the quiet moments while babies nursed and napped, or poolside while kids played, I contemplated and questioned until answers slowly made themself clear.
Now, more than ever, I feel committed to becoming increasingly inclusive to voices that aren’t often heard, but are relevant to the circumstances at hand.
This is a portrait of Michelle Howell, a hardworking farmwife, mother of five, author, and advocate. On the left side of the bust you can read text from the poem “Anyway” that was on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” “The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.”
Leslie Nichols, Artist