Courage ~ Bravery, pluckiness, valour, fearlessness
Courage is an ability to participate fully in our heart’s longing and doesn’t necessarily always mean facing extreme danger without retreating. Courage can be our quiet inner self, moving us out of our comfort zone into a place of genuine desire. Courage takes a willingness to stick with and bear the uneasiness that can follow change.
What kind of courage did it take to leave home in the 1930s? Part of the backstory of my novel that landed on the cutting room floor is about Ruth’s struggle to break free of her family and society’s expectations that a young woman who graduated from high school in 1930 marry and start a family.
Ruth has a sweetheart, but wants something more. She sees her mother work hard, tending the house and garden, isolated unable to drive. She hears her mother say, “Education is the key to the future. It’s the key to a woman’s independence.” But without the money to pay tuition, it’s an impossible dream. Her brother thinks her selfish to desert her mother. Her father encourages her to earn money until she marries.
Ruth has a job cleaning rooms in a hotel in Minneapolis. She earns about $7 per week, no sick days, no union. A dead end street of drudgery. No wonder she cooks up an idea with her cousin to join a rodeo, spending all day, everyday with her horse, Satin Dancer. She is spurred on by the potential of earning more money than she could ever make as a chambermaid.
It took a good amount of pluckiness and true grit to join the rough and tumble male-dominated world of rodeo.
No more comforts of home.