Learning to roar will come
Somewhere in this country is a 12-year-old girl, sitting in a bath tub, razor in hand, beginning a rite of passage into young womanhood: preparing to shave her legs. She is lathered to the gills in that steamy bathroom, stringy wet hair on her head, feeling oh so lovely as she bursts into that old refrain, “I am Woman, hear me roar.”
She is lovely — in that exuberance of youth, that hope of young womanhood, that anticipation that only good and wonderful promises lie ahead. Dream on, young thing.
Across town, from that young, bright chrysalis, is a moth long ago broken out of the cocoon of adolescence into the bright sunlight of young womanhood; morphed into the adult stages of pupae hood, ultimately into that stage of life where cocoons are no longer an option and the butterfly waifs about on fragile wing.
She is no longer lovely, not as she was in her teens. She is no longer exuberant, rather often tired. She no longer faces the sun full face, but must wear a hat to stave off those dreaded sun spots. She sits in the tub, lathered up to her turkey waddle, still engaging in that age old tradition: shaving her legs.
She does not sing, “I am Woman, hear me roar.” She whispers, “Is this really me?”
She knows full well the answer, but chooses not to listen, not today. She is not who she thought she would be; not at this age and stage in life.
She steps out of the tub, rubs a hand across the film collected on the bathroom mirror and is a bit startled that the woman looking back at her is not the one looking for a reflection. She wraps a towel about her softening waistline and paddles, wet footed into the bedroom where her clothes are dangling about on a blanket rack. In her earlier years, clothes would be on hangers, or neatly folded in the proper drawer.
While a sense of order has remained with her throughout her years, it is not the priority it once was. She tosses the towel aside and reaches for a shirt, soft and pale in color. On the floor, next to the crumbled clothes, is a silk scarf given to her recently by a young friend. She picks up the scarf and feels its softness, its strength.
She crosses the room, pops a CD into the player, faces into the sunlight streaming through the window, takes the scarf and whirls in a slow, evolving circle celebrating the gift-of daylight, friendship, turkey waddles, and softening lines and the gift of one more day in all its encumbrances, wrinkles, challenges and changes.
Across town, a young woman reaches for another day — with all its hopes, promises and unexpected hurdles. She puts that razor to those fuzzy legs and belts out, “I am Woman, hear me roar. Grrrr.”