Lori Henriksen

author of The Winter Loon




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.

6 thoughts on “Courage

  1. Many people think of courage as not being afraid. I think that’s wrong. Being afraid of something, no matter what it is, and being able to face it is what I believe courage means.

    Plucking Of My Heartstrings

  2. I agree. Fear is almost always there when a person does something courageous whether it is facing extreme danger or making a change in their life. Heroes who rescue or act in the face of extreme danger often say, it’s what anyone would have done. Sometimes there is no time to feel the fear in the moment and it is felt later.

  3. I can see with faced with the options Ruth had that the thought of a rodeo would be appealing. I do agree we can be courageous and still fearful at the same time.


  4. Courage was my word of the year last year. Great post, thanks!

  5. You inspired me to write about courage and queer identity for my C post! Love the pictures and the historical details.

  6. I admire our ancestors who willingly set out alone to change their lot in life. So many stories like this, and all had courage!
    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.