The spring air was particularly warmer than usual, as was the sun, merciless. I felt as though every hour, I had to reapply my underarm deodorant, along with my FCUK toilette spray. I admired its citrus fragrance. It made feel light. I was in a transition. I had been 10 years late of caring about appearance and beauty, but Grace had a way of influence. Lies I had believed in my youth about women being the weaker vessel, the damsel in distress, and used as a mere sex objects, plagued much of my androgynous existence. I was shy. I was insecure. However, over many night talks and after class lunches, an acceptance and repentance began to rest on my lips. It was the beginning of the maturing, the making and the transforming, I was too afraid to confess. To be the girly girl, I was not, but I wanted to be her, in the deepness of my heart, I really did. I just didn’t know how to be become her. I was a girl, I was a young lady, and I was one day going to be a wife, a woman, a feminine incarnation of softness and nurture. A reality I had covered, masked, and veiled, due to fears of rejection, shame, and failure, was beginning to unravel itself before my naked eyes. I no longer wanted the heaviness of these hateful rags defining and identifying me. I was not happy; it was a new time for me to be who I was to be. A process I proceeded to go through, with the leading and kindness of the new season, much like this humid day.
Grace reapplied her lipstick, fixed her charcoal beret in the bathroom mirror. As she walked through a mist of red jeans perfume, she pulled from her bookshelf a wooden, gold embroidered box. She hesitatingly affirmed it and took from its possession, a shiny blue stone. An impressive stone, in which had been a part of her life, laid dormant for the last seven years, was her reminder of a broken heart, a painful loss, and a failed expectation. Perhaps this is why she was grace. She embodied it, embraced it, displayed it and spoke it, but this blue stone was her thief and a cruelty she could no longer afford to hold on to. It held a captivating power in which Gracie no longer depended on. She put the sacred might in the pocket of her denim jacket, wrapped her scarf around her neck, took a deep breath, and then looked up at me. Today was the day; the release of all control, the release of all manipulation. This was the day the fear of the unknown would be forever buried in the bed of the Fraser River.
[Image Credit: Val Robinson]