The goddess Athena. We know her best as the goddess of wisdom. With a sword, a shield, and an owl, she guarded and protected the ancient city of Athens. Intelligent and rational, Athena ruled by reason rather than emotion or compassion. She brushed aside the powers of Aphrodite (the goddess of love) and was immune to the tug of romance, marriage, and motherhood. This earned her another title: virgin goddess. At first, I thought this description of Athena was pretty sad. Virgin goddess? What’s the point? If you are going to be a goddess, you may as well reap the rewards. So she was wise... but no romance, no spouse, no children? To me, each of these things plays a big part in being a woman.
Then I thought again: Not all women are the same. In a way, Athena was a bit like the modern working woman on a career path to the top. Smart, logical, and going places. Nothing wrong with that. Athena showed me that it’s okay to be strong and independent. Perhaps it takes the sword of a woman, with strength and wisdom, to complete the vision of femininity.
The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, still stands atop the Acropolis and remains one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. A curious traveler, I wandered among the fractured stone pillars of this tribute to both human ingenuity and the soul of women. Something about this time-honored place made me feel young. Maybe everyone feels youthful in the vicinity of a 3000-year-old structure. Whatever! This is a feeling I'll always embrace.