The heat is unbearable.
I always thought it was smart to bring a jacket. Now I’m stuck in three layers of clothing, sitting next to a rather large individual in a fairly small seat on the train.
Why, in God’s name, would they set the thermostat so high when it’s such a beautiful day? Looking around however, I’m the only one noticing the heat. Is it just me?
Oh, I get it.
It is just me.
My sister warned me about this. Out of nowhere, you become a kiln. A sensation starts small in the core of your body and ignites every cell on its move outward. Suddenly, what was comfortable is now suffocating and stifling. There’s an incredible urge to start unbuttoning everything. This is a public place though. I can’t exactly strip down. Oh dear God, will I actually immolate? Probably not. So here I am suffering the fires of transformation in golden silence.
It’s a test, I know.
Just as soft clay is fired to harden it to ceramic, the experience of my childhood, my youth, and my adulthood is being forged into the fullness of being a mature woman.
In a kiln, the higher the temperature, the finer the porcelain becomes. The imperfections are eliminated, the fine lines of paint are made permanent, and the colors become enameled. The result is a visibly delicate, but incredibly strong piece of china capable of withstanding daily use while maintaining its beauty.
And that is how it is with women. We reach a point where experience has done its job to teach us all the things we need to know… to be durable, to be practical and yet to display our gifts in a way that highlights the best qualities of our feminine assets.
We know who we are.
The doubts are burned off. The fear turns to ashes, and anxiety is just smoke rising and wafting away. With confidence and clarity we move into the new territory of being ourselves. Not a daughter anymore. Not a wife anymore. Not a mommy anymore. We become the women we knew our grandmothers to be: calm, assured, optimistic and ever faithful, tender yet strong, with the perspective to gauge the passing days over the lengthy years.
So as the intensity of this moment subsides, I’ll not wish it away. I will remember that in these brief minutes of internal combustion lies the serenity of my future.