The grass was just as green, the flowers just as colorful, the day she was born, as they are today.
The wind was probably chilly on September 7 in 1533, as England moved rapidly toward what would later be called "The Little Ice Age". Cold or not, Anne Boleyn pushed a squalling baby girl into the world, a tiny unwanted female child destined to leave an everlasting mark upon the world she'd just entered.
Elizabeth I. Good Queen Bess, as she was sometimes known to her legion of loving subjects. Also known as The Virgin Queen, Elizabeth's legacy more aptly recalls her greatest title: Gloriana. Her beginnings, however, were much more humble, and most certainly less determined. As a child, her survival depended on the whims of a sickly brother, and an equally mentally ill older sister, both siblings far ahead of her in line to the throne. Origins even the most optimistic would call daunting.
Elizabeth's story is one fraught with intrigue, tenacity, grit, valor, and sheer, dumb luck. As one plot was foiled within her land, another unfolded. Her life and monarchy were constantly at risk, but she endured the danger with faith and determination. . The Good Queen started life as little more than a bastard, and relentlessly weathered storm after storm within her country. Suspicion, even among her closest ministers, plagued not just her reign, but personal life as well. Doubt and disdain, even from those closest to her worked to forge one of England's strongest Monarchs. She spent her entire life fighting for a United Kingdom, never satisfied with less than what she wanted, or quelled by challenge or threat.
As a baker, I rise before the sun, and the rest of the family, and travel through the rural countryside to my job, 50 minutes away. Most days, I enjoy this ride immensely, relishing time to appreciate the scenery and set my mind in a positive pattern for the day. Monday, I could conjure no cheerful feelings. Not even artificial ones. Nearing town and feeling distinctly like Harry Potter drawing my birthday cake in the dust of a stone cabin floor, I pulled into a Dunkin Donuts to treat myself to a Froo-Froo coffee, with lots of whipped cream, only to find the store was closed so they could seal-coat the parking lot. A nagging feeling of bad karma tugged at my heart-strings and manifested throughout the morning. Once at work, I dropped everything I put my hands on, slipped on a stray cantelope rind, and tore a hole in my uniform pants.
That's when Gloriana began to whisper in my ear.
"Pull yourself together." She said.
"What do you mean?" I asked. "I'm fine, I'm just clumsy today. Comes with old age."
"Hogwash. You're rushing. That's why you're making stupid mistakes." She replied. Elizabeth, like me was a Virgo, quick-witted, plainspoken, and astute in the art of Human Nature, she minced no words. "You don't want to be here, so you're in a hurry to finish your work and be gone. Why not ask to leave early, and plan your tasks accordingly?"
"Well, I could, if you'd stop yapping and let me get to it." I sassed back. I stopped short of telling her to take a hike, but didn't want to offend her. She was Royal, after all.
"I do not yap." She said, her tone imperious and slightly threatening. "If you don't want to hear the truth, continue with your grumpy mood. It won't get you anywhere. It'll only ruin our birthday."
"I guess you're right." I acquiesced. "But what am I going to do when I get home? It doesn't seem like anyone cares it's my special day!"
"Absurd." She replied. "Stop creating reasons to be sad, and indulging in self-pity. Everyone in your life loves you. Your 'special day' is as delightful as you choose to make it. Enough whining! Turn things around, and make the first day of your last year in your 40s one to remember."
Elizabeth Tudor wasn't just a Queen. She embodied everything spectacular about the human spirit. Bred from royal blood, and declared a legitimate heir by her father King Henry the 8th, she still suffered terrible self-doubt, sleepless "white nights", and was driven to defend her throne even to those who supported her right to it.
Her tenacity, intelligence and iron will, guide my footsteps- especially when my path is unclear. She led a life only few can aspire to, regardless of breeding. Even til the end, Queen Elizabeth's impact on the world around her was undeniable. So spectacular was the void created by her death, it sucked in countless villains, corrupt in heart and soul who did nothing but damage much of the good she ever did. Over time, however, her legacy became legendary, and those who recognize and draw strength from greatness hold her spirit close.
Especially me. Born on September 7th, 433 years later.
It's Cat Michaels' TWO YEAR anniversary as a blogger! She's having a BIG celebration! Check out the party at
For those of you, like myself, who are wrestling with the wacky world of menopause, take a look at Julie Gorges's blog this week! I had to laugh at some points, and felt good that I'm not alone in what I'm dealing with. Menopause can be FUNNY!
Sondra Robbins Rymer
Visit Sondra Robbins Rymer over at Fairy Tales Imagery, Inc. for a wonderful interview of Michelle R. Eastman, author of the Dust Fairies books! It's sure to put a smile on your face!!
Corrina Holyoake gives us inspiration in this week's blog! In Venturing into the Unknown, Corrina shows us that being an introvert is no reason not to fulfill our creative dreams. Check out her blog this week at http://corrinaholyoake.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/dont-let-being-introvert-stop-you-from.html