July 8, 2016

A Tiny Phrase to Lift Our Hearts at Any Age.

Emily Gordon

She was standing in front of me, speaking with the cashier.

She had purchased two bottles of merlot and was flipping her hair, naturally exuding an undeniable femininity while speaking with the young man behind the register.

She wore a long royal purple cashmere sweater, stylishly tattered boyfriend jeans and black flats.

Her hair was long and mermaid-like, her smile luminous.

And she couldn’t have been younger than 60 years old.

Lately, I find myself noticing the untethered incandescence that lies behind age itself.

I’ve noticed that some women grow more secure with age, as if they were watered and cared for and have left their days of possible breakage behind them.

Some women grow timorous, as if they were critiqued and torn apart and now have withered up and turned away from themselves and from most others.

I’ve noticed some women getting face lifts and cheek implants, then others letting their hair go marble-stone grey and not batting an eye at it.

I’ve noticed some women thinking that their time has passed, while others pack their caravans, moving out West to run with the buffalo.

They’ve said youth is wasted on the young, as if youth is the prime of our lives.

We hear songs on the radio about the glory days. We hear stories about high school sweethearts and “the one who got away.”

Do we not see how toxic these messages are?

Sentimentality will kill you if you let it.

I’m in awe of the women who see past the limitations a male driven society has set for us.

I take the hand of an eight-year-old girl, a friend’s daughter needing an afternoon to herself. I needed some time with those little eyes and big heart. We walk to the ice cream shop on the corner of Fifth and Main. As she begins to lick the strawberry from her cone, I confess that I have a secret to tell her that she is now old enough to know. I cup my hands around my mouth and whisper in her little ear:

We are magic.

Her eyes grew big and her ears seem to physically perk up.

We are magic at eight years old when we walk past a homeless man and instead of assuming that this man is lying about his financial state and questioning our society and the criticism of a corrupt system, we ask our mother for a dollar from her pocketbook because we notice he isn’t wearing any shoes.

We are magic.

We are magic at 16 years old when, instead of going out with our friends to drink out of kegs, we spend the evenings studying French, knowing that one day we will be underneath the Eiffel tower eating a croissant, falling in love with the life we’ve created.

We are magic.

We are magic when we find ourselves in a court room, fighting back tears at the thought of being 24 and divorced, and instead of crumbling we take the pieces and throw them out the windows knowing we are better off building something new then putting old broken pieces back together again.

We are magic when we feel life growing inside our vessel and realizing our full potential as a woman comes in many shades of color. And bringing that baby into the world when they told us 35 was too old, we remember we are magic.

We are magic when we are 50 years old and beginning a new career with stars in our eyes and fire in our belly. The idea of retirement is a man made concept. A new chapter unfolds as we take our first steps into our new stage. We retire from nothing but old perceptions and limitations.

We are magic at 80 years old, when we still wake up before the sun does and can’t keep our voices from singing our praises to the universe, picking tomatoes from our garden remembering life is what you make out of it and knowing there is life still left to be sung.

We are magic.

She couldn’t have been younger than 60 years old, and her soul captivated the room.

She was one of those who remembered the secret, and didn’t let the noise from the others drown it out.





Author: Emily Gordon

Image: Author’s own 

Editors: Renée Picard; Caitlin Oriel

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