I have known a lot of wise women in my time. Most of the women I knew in school provided the path to where I am. They taught me words. They taught me music. They taught me about possibility. My therapist continues to lead me to a better self that I wonder if I will ever fully reach. My mother and grandmother give me advice that I heed, but sometimes do not. There are so many wise women in my life that it makes it hard to choose just one. However, if backed against the wall, the only one I want to talk about is the woman who set up this challenge, Charmaine.
I was talking about her earlier, which probably makes her prominent in my mind. She’s always close to me. I look at my thumb and see the red rain fading around it. I know she has a red ring around her pinky. This binds us together through time, through space, past children and love. It holds us together. Too close sometimes, I think. Too far many times, I know.
She had made mistakes. She’s dated wrong people. She’s fooled around with worse. She’s married three times, and I officiated and locked in place the third. She loves with everything that she has, but doesn’t hesitate to role her eyes when those she loves doesn’t meet standards they and she has set. But those aren’t the reasons that I call her wise.
Yes, I’m partially quoting Doctor Who as I say this, but I think it’s an important part of people. Those with kindness will push past the negative perceptions that we let out when we’re hurt or scared. People who are kind will treat the less fortunate with respect and courtesy. They will also push those closest to them to be better. They may even push us over an edge, but they’ll be the hand that catches us as we flail. Then, of course, they’ll watch us diligently as we climb up.
She does thins like 100 Days Healthier Me, so that she herself can get stronger, but she willingly helps others. Her first story, bound and given to the world, helps those who have been in a similar predicament.
Most of all, I call her wise because she takes a chance on people like me. One day a long time ago, a young man reached out his hand. He looked her, metaphorically speaking, in the eyes. There was a glint of mischief. There was a lot of fear. There was an even larger need for adventure. His eyes smiled as much as his face as he met her eyes.
He held it out, and for a second waited.
Then, without only knowing a tiny bit of who he was, she grabbed it. His smile grew broader. He said a single world. “Run.” And she wisely followed him to her destiny. Neither one of them knew anything but hope and optimism. And it’s never ran them in the wrong direction, not really. They were both there to help course correct for the other. The taking of my hand made her wise, and her help in my life has made her wiser.
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