She is statuesque. Her frame is long and lean; she is tall by most standards, and her height gives her an air of sophistication and confidence. Her hair, with its muted colors of black and mauve and perhaps a splash of red, frames her face like a perfect piece of artwork. Her face is chiseled; her piercing blue eyes rein you in, gather you up like flowers in a field and hold you in their warmth. She smiles a true, beautiful smile that makes you feel welcome, that holds you in court. Her teeth, white and perfect like a set of polished ivory, make that smile even more faultless. Movie stars of the forties come to mind when I look at her. She is stunningly beautiful and she is familiar as well.
I hadn’t met her until this evening. I had only been given snippets of information about her; it was not my place to ask. After all, mothers are to be told only what they need to know when and if their children decide that it is important for mothers to know, especially when it comes to our sons.
She is painted like an ancient tribal woman down her arms across her chest and back. Colorful shades and hues on her skin reveal a story. A story that only she can draw and it is laid out for all of us to see on her living canvas of skin. Her artwork covers her like a blanket, like a well-worn jacket that you just can’t seem to let go of because it has so much history. Her tattoos reveal her history. Her story.
She has since come and gone a hundred times from this house. Visits with our son, dinners out, reveal a woman of mystery. She is strong. Her body a weapon – if need be she can cut you down: she has her black belt. She learned early on that a woman must protect herself from what lurks in dark corners. She shows no fear.
Yet there is this soft side, this side that is always warm and inviting. She is eager to embrace you, to pull you into her strong and loving arms. She is familiar, like I know her, like she is meant to be here at this moment and in moments yet to come.
Her belly now reveals a different story, one that has yet to be told: she is pregnant. In time her baby will look up to that beautiful chiseled face and those piercing blue eyes and that child will be glad, glad to be held in her embrace. Warm and tender, she will whisper secrets to her baby as he lies peacefully in her arms.
Her baby will have a different story to tell; he will no doubt make his own way in this world. And he will have his parents to thank for that, for giving him life and for loving him, even without knowing him.
Photo by Martha Farley. All rights reserved.