Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beauty of a Woman

I saw it in a friend today. That deep, flowing river of strength unique to our sex. Her face was etched in lines of hurt and worry, I could almost physically see the mass of her burden pressing down on her. Her eyes pulled down, hiding behind protective lids. Everything about her drooped and blurred, as if she was a watercolor painting left out in the rain.

And yet, underneath it all, miraculously, I saw so clearly a deep current of strength flowing through her. It was beautiful. Abiding. Swift. Sure. Constant. I saw, and I understood the true beauty of woman.

What makes us beautiful is not really a Grecian profile. It is not bone structure, eye color, the curve of the neck or soft pearling ear. Woman's true beauty lies in the duplicity of emotion and strength.

We are feeling creatures. We filter our experiences, interactions and relationships through a tangled, interconnected web. Everything connects to our heart on some level. In a way, this makes us weak. Dependent. Easily swayed.

At the same time, women have a strength that is as deep and unchanging as the sea. The very thing that weakens us, our emotions, also gives us an under girding steadfastness. It is the strength of a mother who is up every hour during the night with a sick child. It is the strength of a wife holding it together for the sake of her man. It is the woman who miscarries her baby, but in the midst of it has love and attention for her living children. It is loving so fiercely that it is impossible to let go.

It is beautiful, this undercurrent of strength that flows from the breaking heart of a steadfast woman.

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