My father distanced himself from me even more than before. My days were spent in the garden and on the farm. Mother didn’t seem to recover from her pregnancy and was very weak in the afternoons. I spent every morning with her learning how plants grow and what can be done to fix poor soil. Even little things seemed to help. One of the things I learned was so simple it surprised me that no one used it. Shellfish remains could be ground and added to the soil as a conditioner and fertilizer. According to mother it was what farmers on Old Earth did in the coastal regions before expensive fertilizers became available. Piles of the shells could be had for free at many of the seafood processing plants locally. Mother sent out groups of our workers to collect them with permission. She oversaw their preparation and distribution into the fields and gardens. She did attempt to spread her knowledge but father didn’t like to share and put a stop to her attempts. Or at least he thought he did. Mother participated in a district wide knitting group that met once a quarter. She took me along to help with baby Athena and I discovered something very interesting there.
Knitting was not all that happened. These women were organized! History was filled with strong women who did many things other then marry and produce heirs. Women were doctors, scientists, warriors, bards, poets, and teachers. Under the guise of knitting these women were attempting to spark a revolution for equal rights here on Hong Kong. According to our planetary charter, we already had equal rights. However, laws and traditions overshadowed that and over the years it became hidden. Their goal was to reassert themselves and claim their rights in the eyes of the law and public opinion. My mother was one of the ringleaders. She was like a firebrand and was sell respected in the community of women. She shared her many discoveries and her knowledge with these women. Advancement was the goal not enrichment. Only her failing health was holding her back. At age eight I was initiated into their ranks and promised to keep their secrets.