Because we are free women, born of free women, who are born of free women, back as far as time begins, we celebrate your freedom.
Because we are wise women, born of wise women, who are born of wise women, we celebrate your wisdom.
Because we are strong women, born of strong women, who are born of strong women, we celebrate your strength.
Because we are magical women, born of magical women, who are born of magical women, we celebrate your magic.
My sisters, we are gathered here to speak your names. We are here because we are your daughters as surely as if you had conceived us, nurtured us, carried us in your wombs, and then sent us out into the world to make our mark and see what we see, and be what we be, but better, truer, deeper because of the shining example of your own incandescent lives.
We are here to speak your names because we have enough sense to know that we did not spring full blown from the forehead of Zeus, or arrive on the scene like Topsy, our sister once removed, who somehow just growed. We know that we are walking in footprints made deep by the confident strides of women who parted the air before them like the forces of nature that you are.
We are here to speak your names because you taught us that the search is always for the truth and that when people show us who they are, we should believe them.
We are here because you taught us that sisterspeak can continue to be our native tongue, no matter how many languages we learn as we move about as citizens of the world and of the ever-evolving universe.
We are here to speak your names because of the way you made for us. Because of the prayers you prayed for us. We are the ones you conjured up, hoping we would have strength enough, and discipline enough, and talent enough, and nerve enough to step into the light when it turned in our direction, and just smile awhile.
We are the ones you hoped would make you proud because all of our hard work makes all of yours part of something better, truer, deeper. Something that lights the way ahead like a lamp unto our feet, as steady as the unforgettable beat of our collective heart.