Old Woman2

This morning, while driving thru the springtime green hills of Cassville, I witnessed the most beautiful girl…I’ve seen her before: watering her flowers, tossing feed to her chickens, talking to her dogs. But this morning, she was perched in the ancient swingset that sits on the grass of her sideyard. Her head was topped with an old Atlanta Braves baseball cap and was tilted toward the sky, tufts of silver played around her face. Her shoulders, draped in an old man’s sweater, curved slightly toward the ground. Muck Boots covered her feet, and they pumped slowly, back and forth, moving her to and fro, while she held on to chains with frail hands. I wanted to stop and linger, to watch her, to know more about her, but I didn’t wish to alarm her, so I drove slowly, taking in the sight of her; for she was magnificently beautiful. I wanted to know what she was thinking…Was she longing for former days, when her little ones climbed on her lap and asked to be pushed on swings? Higher, Mama! Higher! Or was her memory older than that? Was she reliving seventy-year old days, when she was a little girl, swinging in the morning sun on homemade rope swings? Was she thinking of the girl she used to know, the one she used to be? The sixteen year-old girl being pushed in a swing by her sweetheart…

I don’t know what she was remembering, or if she was remembering anything at all. But the sight of her made me remember how thankful I am for the beauty of the simpleness of my life. For the pleasure I get from time spent with my loved ones; my family and friends…friends who are also my family. Thankful for the beauty of Cassville, Georgia and the serenity of the Confederate Cemetery I pass everyday. Thankful for Cass Grocery and the hand dipped ice-cream they still offer. Thankful for the sweeter memories of days gone by…and for memories yet to be made.

The Old Woman

As a white candle
In a holy place,
So is the beauty
Of an aged face.

As the spent radience
Of the winter sun,
So is a woman
With her travail done.

Her brood gone from her,
And her thoughts as still
As the waters
Under a ruined mill.

Joseph Campbell

Cassville  Confederate Cemetery 093