She was at least forty years old, by her own admission. Her hair was well past the shoulders and a somewhat indeterminate color for it combined within its curls blonde, brown and a touch of red. It was loose and lush about her shoulders. It looked windblown though we were inside a building, and although it was eyecatching, it couldn’t compare to her smile.
The woman was heavily pregnant, within three weeks of giving birth, she also told me. In her restlessness, despite the uncertain nature of labor inception after having delivered a number of children previously, she had come into the store I worked at as a means of exercise, but also to find some overlooked need or sudden desire.
Her eyes were a deep blue grey, long lashed with darkness that matched her brows. She couldn’t keep a smile from her lips. She was infectiously jubilant. She had on no make-up, no artifice, but she absolutely glowed. She was tall, over six foot with broad shoulders and a strong body, her belly was huge and low, suggesting her child was dropping.
Some people view beauty a different way, even beautiful pregnancy. They look for the fresh and young. That catches their eye, and why not, but to me that is common. Many young women have children. She was older and her joy and pride was profound. She was sure in her place in the world.
The lines on her face were not anything to believe deplorable or to ask why she “let” herself get pregnant at her age. In past ages, if they survived, many women continued to have pregnancies into the late thirties and into the forties. In some countries like Germany and those in Scandinavian, mothers are older than in the USA for example, where it seems the majority of young woman by twenty or so or even younger, have a child or children despite the level of offered education services and options to do something else than have children young before you’ve explored the world. In those societies someone is labelled as “clock ticking” if they’ve not been married or had children by the time they are in their late twenties.
This woman was beautiful, strong, sure of herself and full of confidence. Her baby was not yet in her arms but you could see and feel the powerful love and devotion she had to her baby. Though I didn’t see her mate or husband, from her aura, I knew she was deeply loved and respected. No one, no woman, man or child, could exude such radiance without being truly love.
So many people look to magazine models and runaway debutants, starlets and celebrities as their view of what true beauty is. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, but there is beauty all around us every day. Whether slim or seriously curved, short or tall, with a look some silly people think of as homely and plain or rudely as ugly, there are beautiful women all around us. Intelligent, challenging, perplexing, wonderful!
When I considered writing this entry, I thought of the women I’ve loved or thought I was in love with. I considered the billion photo level of presented beauties that the media hurls upon us. Of them all, not lessening their attraction in any way nor exaggerating what pregnancy can mean for a woman, to me a woman is a woman: what she feels herself to be, no matter even if she began in another gender. No one else stood out as heart-stoppingly and absolutely beautiful as that woman. She rocked me to the core, stopped me in my place. She was to me all that was superlative: confident, sure, nurturing, yet iron-willed at the core.
In her I sensed the furious retribution that if one crossed her, if someone was so unwise as to threaten one of her beloved ones, her retaliation would be terrible. This was right. This was real. This was ancient living in its most basic yet powerful form: the lifegiver, the goddess, monitor of life and death. It made her even more lovely and attractive. When she collected her bags, and rolled her trolley out, my eyes followed her. No one else, in nearly forty years of observation, has surpassed that woman.