Today I took a walk and met some interesting women.
The first was only but a child. She was shy and her expression pensive, but her eyes were full of laughter and mischief restrained. Hair cropped short; there was a deliberate boyish air about her that did not match her unmistakably feminine face. She was startled by my intrusion and reluctant to stop and make conversation. Then she whispered that she was running away from home. Looking in to her defiant eyes, I had not the heart to tell her that she would not run too far before she returned. So I wished her luck and moved on.
The next was almost a woman. Feminine in every way, her hair fell down below her waist and there was a glow about her that only love could radiate. A picture of serenity, she only smiled, even when I interrupted her reverie. She did not hesitate, not for a moment. Instead she invited me to sit with her for a while. And she told me of her first love. Shared with me her dreams, of the life they would build together and of their unborn children. I asked her what she wanted for herself, what if her love left her someday? But my cynicism could not touch her bliss. I walked away with a prayer…for her heart to be spared.
Then I met the jaded one. She was almost beautiful in her bitterness. Her movements were carelessly savage. When she spoke, her eyes were guarded and her lips curled in scorn. But behind her disdainful facade I thought I fleetingly saw a glimpse of a lost child. She claimed to live for one day at a time, refusing to plan for the future. A part of me wanted to hold her close and tell her she was too young to be so disillusioned but the other part of me grudgingly respected her assumed bravado. So I left her to her destruction.
I had to walk for a while longer before I met the next woman. She was the boring one. Her attitude was lukewarm and ideals high. The nesting instinct was in overdrive and she bombarded me with her future plans. As I listened patiently I couldn’t help but notice that her story was a little frayed around the edges. Convinced that there was more to her, I had to repress the urge to scratch and find out what she hid beneath the surface. But she would not let me get close to her. So I moved away quickly, finding that her conformist speeches had left a bland taste in my mouth.
Not long after though, I met the most interesting one yet. A free spirit running barefoot. When I stopped her, she laughed and in conspirational whispers told me not to hold her back, because she was running away. From herself and the woman that she had become. I was intrigued. She told me of the dreams she had thrown away and mused about the years she may have lost. In matter of fact tones she spoke, of her life and the choices she had made in good faith. Unlike the others, she asked me for directions, asked me where to go from here. I didn’t know myself, so I told her that I’d walk with her.
Now as I keep walking away from all the women I used to be, I can’t help but notice another woman walking in the distance. I try to call out but she’s too far away to heed my call. All I see is that she is happy. There is a gaiety in her stride and I think I can almost hear her sing.