by Chrysa Smith

A few of us bloggers spent the weekend on the estate of Pearl S. Buck ( Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It was. It is a beautiful national landmark set on acres of rolling Bucks County countryside.

We were invited there for the first Pearl S. Buck Writer’s Conference. And although I have been on the grounds several times as a tourist, it had never struck me before, as it did now, that Pearl was a true Renaissance Woman.

Born in 1892, she lived in China most of her life. She was married, divorced, remarried. She had a child with disabilities, a hysterectomy, multiple adopted children of mixed, Asian heritage. She was a writer, a spokeswoman, activist and Nobel Prize winner. And all before the civil rights movement, acceptance of multicultural families and the term multitasking.

To me, a Renaissance Woman is one who is ahead of her time—forging new frontiers, thinking outside of the box and the limitations that cultures place around her. She is a woman who knows who she is and follows the rhythm of her heart, wherever that leads. It may be China or Pennsylvania, the laptop or herb garden. Wherever it is, it is real. And as the wise Skin Horse said to the Velveteen Rabbit in one of my favorite stories, Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all…’

The Skin Horse obviously appreciates a good, seasoned woman (while knowing little of anti-aging products).

You needn’t be in a book, on an estate or live abroad to be one. All you need to do is follow your heart. Know a Real Renaissance Woman who inspires you? Maybe you are one. click on the comments link below and give us the real scoop.