She looks at me for a split second and then her eyelids flutter, butterfly wings with a mind of their own that reflects her exotic thoughts, and look past this fence, this cage, into the freedom that's so seemingly close, symbolized by the one tree in the vast, lonely desert.
I am amazed,
I am amazed
by her looks and her movements and every little thing she does. She speaks of adventures in the wild, wild west, rafting in the Colorado river with a ruggedly handsome boyfriend, moving into a man's house she barely knows the first time she kisses him, New York. Yoga in the city and the calling she's always felt for Nepal. And then she goes, she just hops on a plane with no belongings, because all of her belongings were burned down along with her apartment two months previous to the trip.
"It's so simple," she says, stealing this stealthy sort of look at me and facing our strong, solitary tree again. "I've always had this voice in my head, my aunt's voice, telling me that every woman has to really be acquainted with her independence by traveling to a foreign country where she doesn't speak the language, alone. To know her power, her strength."
Because every woman is strong.
It's amazing how people learn things in such tellingly different ways. How some people take away from hardships a "victim" mentality that never leaves them, like filthy cigarette smoke that sticks to a heavy smoker's clothes, and yet, how others take away the most positive things from the most difficult experiences. How she and I can intricately study our challenges and be thankful for the awful things we've gone through, more awful than most people our age have come across, and how others just hide themselves under this huge comforter of aching, of self-pity, of misery.
She is the epitome of a strong woman who learns from mistakes and hardships and cherishes all these beautiful things that flourish from pain, like morning dew after a particularly cold night.