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Friday, October 17, 2008

A Woman's Beauty

I did not write this. But it speaks to me.

"One of the highlights of spring in Washington D.C. is the short period during which the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. With literally hundreds of trees in flower... the sight is breathtaking. But the spectacle is also very brief - particularly if a hard spring rain comes along at the height of the season. Under the best of conditions, the blossoms are at their peak for only a few days. Like the physical beauty of youth, the cherry blossoms are temporary and fragile.

After the blossoms' brief and sensational parade comes the hard work. If cherry trees are to survive, the roots - out of sight and unheralded - must push down into the soil, penetrating into the dirt, stones and muck to extract the moisture and nutrients the tree needs to live. The branches and twigs must reach upward, lifting the budding leaves to the light in good weather and bad. All during the long hot days of summer and into the fall until the frost comes, the roots, branches, and leaves must do the grubby, ordinary, day-to-day work to sustain the life of the tree and prepare it for bringing forth the next spring's blossoms. Though less dramatic, these life sustaining processes are no less miraculous and certainly no less essential than the fertilization phase that was initiated by the blossoms with their outrageous, glorious, but transient, display of beauty."

The following is what I think.

The above just about sums up a mother's life journey. We were all physically beautiful once. Every one of us. Then the children came, and some of us leave the workforce and go out of sight where unheralded, we push bravely through the diaper changing muck and children's vomit in order to hold our children up to the light... come what may. Fathers work and earn a significant place in the world. Mothers are the roots of the home. We clean the toilets, patch up the knees, listen to hurtful comments and push and push and push, to extract as best we can, moisture and nutrients so that we can bring forth the next spring's blossoms - our children. We live very undramatic lives filled with the mundane and the boring. All that mothers do after our brief season of youthful beauty in the sun is less dramatic BUT more essential than the outrageous, glorious, and transient display of youthful beauty that once defined who we were.

And then we realise that we have another sort of beauty - that of laugh wrinkles and soft eyes, that of steely resolve when storms hit the family, that of compassion and love and gentleness, and encircling arms.


Ivana said...

Beautiful analysis Rens. I like how you equated muck with diaper changing and vomit.
hee hee

petunialee said...

Thanks for reading!

justallofone said...

this is my favorite post, i think... (especially) the last few lines are beautifully written!xD

abbkoh said...

I have so enjoyed reading your posts and articles....thanks for sharing!

petunialee said...

abbkoh - Thank you for leaving so many comments for me. This one in particular is one of my favourite posts though much of it was copied from Beverley LaHaye's book.