Monday, January 30, 2012

The Woman With the Long Gray Braid

You know her, right?

She's at every music festival and craft show on the planet.  She's at the organic grocery store in the hippest urban areas and she's on the farm in the country.  She is a little bit more elusive in the suburbs.

She dances through life - sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively.  She moves slowly and with purpose - even if the purpose is simply recognizing the joy in the moment.

Watch her or don't - she doesn't care.  Join her and she'll make you feel welcomed.

I want to be her when I grow up.

She wears cotton and colors and silver and she only wears shoes when she has to.

She wears a long gray braid.  Maybe two.

Last week, during our visit to Charleston, I noticed her selling handmade bags along Market Street.  I stopped to admire them and she in turn admired the one I was carrying.  When she found out I'd made it, her demeanor implied that she recognized a kindred soul when she saw one.  We chatted for a few moments and when my party moved along she told us to have a nice day - then leaned in and said to me in a manner that was almost conspiratorial, "This is not a funky town."

She thought I belonged in funky town.

I think I do, too, sister.

I'm going to start growing that long gray braid.