By Lisa Meade
When she looks at me, I feel witnessed.
I see her searching my face for the telltale signs of all I have been through. It has been quite a lifetime, which I cannot deny. There have been some of the most amazingly beautiful experiences any woman could hope to have!
She traces the smile lines besides my mouth.
There have been births of children who bring to this world their wondrous offerings and individual beauty. There has been passionate love from a life partner who delights, challenges and cares. There have been opportunities to hold tenderly the soul’s suffering in indescribable pain. There has been laughter that shakes the belly and brings tears to the eyes.
She smooths the furrow in my brow.
There has been suffering, some shared and some kept hidden in the recesses of my being; the pain to harsh to be rehashed and so I choose to let the demons lie. There has been the witnessing of life’s losses and unfairness, the things one walks away from unable to understand and needs blessed time to shake off.
As she traces the crows feet at the corners of my eyes she listens to my stories of delight as I relive the humorous stories that created the laughter in a full family of seven; times spent at the shore, family game night or summer barbeques.
Her hand reaches to the back of my neck and slowly releases the stress held there by the muscles. My body exhales with relief. Time spent writing, listening, journeying, coaching; leaning into the hearts of those who come to me for support or guidance leaves its reminder. Often the tension lingers in my body and I need to cleanse and release in order to move on.
She understands these markings and holdings of my body.
She knows that they add to the depth of my beauty. She appreciates that what I often fail to see upon first glance comes with time as I embrace the deeper meaning of my essence. She honors my body.
My body is cherished with her touch. My soul feels the softness—my heart the compassion and love. I look deeper into her eyes and smile; she responds in kind. Together, she and I, know that with each moment that is lived fully, this body of mine will embrace yet another sign, another line, another smile, another shadow or dimple or crease—the beautiful recognition of a life lived fully.
And I turn slowly, still smiling, away from myself in the mirror.
Editor: Dana Gornall