Before I started to notice my wink lines (crows feet), I would look in the bathroom mirror from time to time and ask myself this question…”What will I look like by the age of thirty”? How would I act?” (I was twenty at the time.) Then I would proceed to suck in my jaws, in order to expose my magnificent cheek bones and squint my eyes. I would wonder what would become my worst asset.
Every ten years or so, I would go to the magic mirror and repeat this procedure. At the end of each session, I would shrug my shoulders, lick my lips and turn the bathroom light out.
Upon reaching my thirtieth birthday, I began toward the familiar mirror and began the ritual…but I was stopped in my tracks because when I started to squint…I saw WRINKLES. Left the mirror with tears in my eyes because I started to realize that my youth was fading.
On my forty eighth birthday; as I was reluctantly beginning to perform my looking glass theme; something happened to my spirit. Reality jumped in. This was the babbling of my sub-conscious mind. You know…”The real voice of reason”. That day as I looked at my graying hair and crooked smile; I smiled in spite of myself because, the beauty that stared back at me through the looking glass, was the most beautiful woman I had ever had the privilege of seeing. It no longer mattered how I appeared to the world. It did matter how I appeared to myself…from the inside out of course.
Those squinting exotic eyes of mine, had seen more than many of the youthful inhabitants of this old world would ever see. These kind tired eyes, had seen more than any epic novel could produce. And the reflection that peered back at me was the result of living in this world and enduring the madness an emerging victorious.
Growing old gracefully is an art and a blessing. A friend of mine for some thirty years, saw me as I was about to got to a meeting. He stopped me and said to me,”Shirley if there was ever a picture of beauty growing old gracefully, you are the mold”. I turned my head and smiled at him, giving him a sensual wink from these tired eyes and I said. “Thank you Larry for the realization that beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder”. I smiled to myself as I took my seat on that bus, because I was made to see for myself that; It is not important how the world views me, but it is important the impact that I make on the world by my beautiful presence…Please remember that!
by Shirley Marie Johnson