Gently, ever so cautiously Cindy opened the
door to the small, strange, grocery store located in the town of this
wheat farming community, not too far from where she lived. The little
city was far enough away she hardly ever shopped there, but on this day
was driving through when she decided to pick up a few food staples.
There was always a friendly openness with
the people in the town, but she was totally caught off guard by the
simple scene before her. The clerk behind the counter was a young woman.
If she had lived in a large city there would have been offers for her to
do television commercials she was so outstandingly healthy and beautiful
in her appearance. Her face was almost square built and regal in its
bone structure. Her fair untanned skin was so clear and unflawed there
seemed to be a whisper of some mystical something about her personage.
If she knew she was beautiful there was no hint of an awareness to the
fact. She had a straight forward steady gaze with only a hint of a
Cindy was a photographer and she could
visualize the woman standing at the top of one of the bluffs around the
area where the wind might catch and wrap strands of her lovely long
black hair here and there about her face and neck. As the customer
stepped up closer to the counter she saw the young woman has the most
startling blue eyes.
Across from the counter was a television
flickering and Cindy thought it was this sound she heard.
Somehow, the voices were too clear though, and she turned to
investigate. Was it children's laughter?
There was a short dividing wall closing
off what was like a small space enclosed only half way up. She could
easily look over. Below the half wall she could see two children rolling
and tumbling as they played. Cindy realized this was the sound she
heard, not the television. The children were so involved in their play
they did not notice her at all. Like their mother they were bundled in a
heavy set of clothing including bulky outdoor coats. This only called to
Cindy's attention the fact the building was unheated in this winter time
season. The weather had been unusually warm, but not enough so as
to be comfortable without heat and this warm attire.
As Cindy turned her attention back to the
clerk she realized the young woman was nervous as to her strange
customer's approval or disapproval because her children were with
her in this place of business. All the older woman could do to show her
total approval of the scene was to simply smile and wink. The broad
smile emitting from the young woman only added to the charm of the
moment. It was as if the two women were joined in a depth of
understanding to surpass their age difference.
When Cindy came back to her car she spoke
to her husband. "You know, sometimes we can see the
most pleasant thing in something like another world."
"And?" her husband was as
usual ready to listen to the forth coming story.
"Well, you just can't believe what a
lovely scene I just walked in to!" Cindy felt gifted with something
to give her a new and renewed encouragement as to how the spirit of
youth was alive and well.
No where was there shiny waxed polished
floors, sad sloe eyes of children, organized rooms of toys and file
cabinets. No institutions of necessity for child care, but just a small
grocery store room where happy children rolled and played under the
watchful eye of their mother.
"It just makes me a little sad a
mother has to be almost afraid of someone seeing her with her
children." Cindy had the strangest feeling, as if somehow she
had entered into another time warp of a time and place in the future
with this small scene just a window she had the opportunity to look
through. "I'm getting older and in a way I'm glad of it."
Cindy leaned her head against the back of the car seat and willed her
self not to think anymore about it.