Wise Women’s Club

The aroma drifts from the restaurant’s kitchen, teasing all who enter. Encircling, enticing, enveloping, the aroma begs us, sit for a spell. Coffee poured into waiting cups, chatter and laughter bubble forth filling empty souls. Who knew something so simple held such power.

They wait for me in the booth. We embrace, members of a club.  The Wise Women. Well, so much wiser than we were once upon a time before we grew up. Before the littlest moments captured our attention. Our fingers lace around warm cups. We smile; we share our secrets and fears.

We notice little moments now that we’ve matured, like the ladybug drinking the water droplet after the sprinkler’s mist. The golden rim of a child’s greenest eye. We wonder who the government’s new strategist is, chuckle at the lack of strategy. Call us, we muse. We share stories of children, aging parents, trips we’ll take, books we’ve read, journeys we’re on.

My treasured friends, long-standing members of an informal circle of women that joined hands years ago. Once upon a time, we chased our children’s joy, earned our degrees, worked full-time, worked in and worked out. One day, just like that, the years flew by us.

We can’t save the world, some days we only save each other. Aware of each member’s weakest heart spot, we probe gently, cautiously choosing wise words, affirming worth.  We’ve all shivered in grief. My friend turns and asks,

“Will you have regrets?”

“No,” I reply, “no amount of money will fix it or make me happier.”

It’s never about money; it’s always about love for another. At least that’s how it rolls for us.

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We stand, gather our bills, head over to pay the cashier. We embrace, already awaiting the next time. The Wise Women’s Club adjourns.

 

A Beautiful Children’s Book

One of my favourite, serious Children’s Books is from, The New York Review Children’s Collection~ The MOUSEWIFE by RUMER GODDEN, Pictures by William Pene du Bois, published in 1951.  Pene du Bois’ whimsical pen and ink illustrations compliment the beautiful text of friendship and bittersweet love between a Mousewife and a Dove.

This is the hauntingly beautiful tale of a little Mousewife who spends her days gathering crumbs and scampering about her little world attempting to please a rather cranky and unappreciative husband.

“What more do you want?” asked her husband.  She did not know what it is she wanted, but she wanted more.”

“I think about cheese,” said her husband.

“Why don’t you think about cheese?”

That is, until an unexpected guest, a Dove arrives.  The Dove held captive in a birdcage, wishes to be free to fly once more.  While in captivity the Dove captivates the Mousewife with tales of the world outside the window, how it felt free to fly, encouraging her to dream of more, questioning the familiar life she has become accustomed to.

Reluctantly, the brave and compassionate Mousewife finally makes the decision to set her new, dear friend, free from the prison of the birdcage. In doing so she will lose the Dove’s company. Sadly, the Mousewife realizes that they travel in different worlds, and she returns to the everyday, predictable life of a mousewife, with only memories to sustain.

“The mousewife is a very old lady mouse now.  Her whiskers are gray and she cannot scamper anymore, even her running is slow.  But her great- great –grandchildren, the children of Flannelette and Flannelette’s brothers and sisters, treat her with the utmost respect.”

This is the hauntingly beautiful tale of friendship and bittersweet love between a mousewife and a dove.
This is the hauntingly beautiful tale of friendship and bittersweet love between a mousewife and a dove.

“She is a little different from them, though she looks the same.  I think she knows something they do not.”

This is a beautiful tale of love and if you haven’t read the story, you must.

A note from R.G.~

“This story is taken from one written down in her journal by Dorothy Wordsworth for her brother William, the poet.  It was quite true, but her mouse I am sorry to say, did not let the dove out of its cage.  I thought mine should, and she did.”