The Woman

The Woman 

Down a narrow corridor the image of a woman approaches far in the distance.  A soft stream of light dances off the walls and casts an ethereal glow in her direction as she slowly glides towards me. I am instantly intrigued by her familiarity and mystery.

The illumination of her face enables me to observe segments of her features in the hopes of discovering who she is. Attempting a closer glance, I study her face and notice a faint smattering of freckles sprinkled across her cheeks and a wide-eyed astuteness in her demeanor. I am puzzled by her contradictory expression. She somehow blends innocence and experience together painted with a splash of wisdom as she gazes in my direction in bewilderment.

I’m temporarily surprised by her youthful aura, since my eyes tell me she has walked this earth for eternity.  I see fine lines at the corner of her eyes revealing a life’s journey well traveled. Young and old co- mingle together, as if in a dance, whirling to form a pirouette swaying jointly to create an enigma.

Hers is a face that has experienced the complexities of life; the power of love, exciting adventures, births and deaths, sorrows and joys. Her eyes stare right through me, twinkling as if they hold all the mysteries of the universe deep inside.

We smile at one another and she nods knowingly in my direction. Sudden laughter erupts from her lips and it is instantly contagious. I catch myself laughing along side of her creating a synchronized sound.  As I continue to examine her image carefully, my confusion becomes amplified.

I notice her strength, determination, and the plethora of memories she embodies. I can detect that she carries a reflection of childhood playfulness, teenage angst, young love, ambition, a carefree spirit, peace protests, rock concerts, limitless novels and plays, motherhood, a successful career, and being called grandma for the first time.

Glimpses of a life filled with unusual adventures and ordinary daily events pass before me as I approach the tall mirror in the hallway.  And for an instant I see a flash of mini skirts, bell-bottoms, guitars and peace signs transforming into the grandmother standing before me in the mirror. I see myself.  

I see me at 16, 20, 40, 60 and today. I see 70!

Suddenly, I look away for a split second to double check if the girl I used to be is still there behind my reflection. I need to know that she still exists in the likeness radiating from the hallway mirror.

I blink to make sure the essence of who I was still lingers somewhere in the glass before me and I let out a gasp.

YES!!!!! Oh, YES! I see her. She is indeed still there!

Older, softer, rounder, not quite as tall as she used to be.  Hair drizzled with a few silver streaks but ever full and luxurious, Eyes, expressive and large, ready to explore the unknown, all while surrounded by laugh lines from decades of smiling.  And as I recognize my reflection I sigh and then speak aloud.

“Hello old friend. I see you in there, I’m so glad you’re still here to continue this journey with me.”

And a few tears softly slide down my cheeks as I realize that years and age cannot change who I am inside. I tightly shut my eyes and envision that vibrant and vital young girl protesting for peace. I open them again and stare into my reflection. I inspect the determined woman I am today. Older, smarter, and ready to keep fighting for change.

I may walk a little slower, but I’ve become quite a bit wiser. I take nothing for granted and appreciate every moment I am given. Always trying to find a new pathway to creativity, and ready to gain more knowledge with every decade I’m allowed to endure.

I take one last look at my image in the mirror and then smile.

“So this is 70? Happy Birthday to me! 70 doesn’t seem quite as old and scary as I thought it would be.”

And then I hum a few bars from a song that I identified with in 1967 and dance my way out the door.

21 thoughts on “The Woman

  1. OMG, Lesley!!!! What an AWESOME post!!! I loved it! I was entranced from start to finish. Too wonderful. It is so great to read your words again! I have missed YOU!!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You and I are in the same “Year Boat”! Congratulations on your life well lived, My Dear! Wishing you many days and years of happiness!
    Sweet Dreams and Gentle Whispers, Lesley! Write more, please????
    Chuck
    xoxoxo

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    1. Lynda Borenstein

      Amazing writing from an amazing and inspiring woman! You have such a way with words and I can relate to everything you wrote.
      Once my mother told me that she still felt like she was 17 inside even though she was in her early sixties at that time. I couldn’t appreciate that at the time, but now I know what she meant.
      Thanks for sharing your talents with us all, Leslie

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      1. Thank you so much Lynda. My mom said something very similar when I was in college and I couldn’t relate then either. But her words stuck with me. Now that we are “mature”, we can easily understand. That’s one of the reasons I was inspired to write this. It’s part of what happens to women, I think, as we grow older.

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  2. Your words are a wonderful birthday present to yourself … and to us. And I, too, wish you a wonderful birthday. Yes, at 87, I do a lot of looking back at who and what I was. They are not always happy memories, but they are part of who I am now. I am grateful for them. You, too, have much in your life to look back on with pleasure. Thank you so very much for sharing your memories with us.

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    1. Barbara, it is an honor to read your kind comments. You write like a young woman whose words set her free. I would never think you were 87 from your poetry. It’s always so fresh and alive! Oh how you inspire me! Thank YOU for sharing your thoughts and your art on WordPress. Xo

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  3. Wow! You are impressive. Dancing across the world! I think as long as we keep on dancing we will age with a smile and one day dance among the stars forever, becoming the muses to the women of the future. But for now, we’ll keep on dancing with our feet on the ground! Party on! ✌️

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  4. Leslie, we have not actually met but I also feel blessed to have shared words with you. I think you speak for everywoman. This exquisitely written piece and the song has a tear trailing down my cheek. Happy Birthday, I can also see 70 some months in the future and like you am still dancing out the door…..
    in fact next month I am going to do something that will push all my boundaries, I am joining a group of women coming from all over the world to ‘dance’ and whirl with a dancer named Banafsheh in Turkey. Still some spots open:)……
    Sincere best wishes to you my new/old friend.

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  5. Happy birthday, Lesley, and welcome to this interesting decade of new opportunities to contribute and also new challenges. Your attitude and wisdom will serve you well. Re music, my playlist is pretty well 100% 60s tunes. Ah, memories of youth! 🎂🎉😊

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  6. You are as beautiful as the day we first met at Fox Trail, inside and out. I feel very blessed to call you friend. Hope you had a wonderful beautiful! You deserve it. ❤️🎉🎂🍾🎊💖🙏💕🎁

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    1. Thank you so much Ruth. I also feel very blessed to have you as my friend. Yes! we clicked from the moment we met at school. Your positive, upbeat spirit, your devotion to children and to loving life to the fullest, has inspired me for as long as I have known you. You have been a true and cherished. friend. Thank you so much Ruth. I have ten days until the actual big day, but tonight thinking about 7 decades inspired this blog. I truly appreciate your response. xoxo

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