The Birthday Mirror


December 08, 2017

© 2017 Marlene Buffa

A young child looked back at me in the mirror this morning. She was full of laughter and joy. Her face showed no signs of worry or fear. She radiated confidence in knowing she is loved and filled with the promise of opportunity and achievement.

An adolescent looked back at me in the mirror this morning. Experiencing chemical and physical changes, she was confused by the changes taking place, not understanding that it’s life’s gift of natural progression. Her face bore scars from childhood Chicken Pox and teenaged acne. More than that, her expression showed anxiety and doubt, and fear of not living up to her potential and her parents’ expectations.

A young woman looked back at me in the mirror today. Life’s losses took their toll and her face reflected a wounded spirit. Her countenance injured, her peace devasted and the fate of an unknown and solo future hung like a cloud over her head. Responsibilities weighed heavily on her shoulders and even through the mist of burdens, she managed to smile.

A mature woman looked back at me in the mirror today. A confident expression shone brightly depicting a knowing that whatever life threw her way, she knew she could handle it. A few wrinkles and many gray hairs didn’t change the spark of soul that shone through. Underneath, the beam of inquiry and curiosity vibrated with excitement because in an instant, I saw there is so much more ahead for her.

An old woman looked back at me in the mirror today. Her tired yet bright eyes told the story of a life well-lived. A life that gave more to others than it received back, knowing the inequity was yet another part of the whole. Her face told me she did the best she could and that she was finally at peace with who she is. It was a face of forgiveness for the past and joy in the moment.

My parents looked back at me in the mirror today. Standing behind me, each resting a hand on my shoulder, proud of the woman I’ve become and the immense growth and compassion I learned. They explained that things happened exactly as they should and to always remember that the gift of life and earthly experiences are priceless.

Spirit looked back at me in the mirror today. No words were spoken, but the all-knowing glow of love and inner peace shone brightly. The message was that it doesn’t matter the face you see in the mirror – it’s already perfect – it’s the overall capacity to love and learn and grow that matters. I was shown in an instant the many ways I’ve touched and inspired and cared for people I loved and didn’t love; I knew and didn’t know; of those whose life changed because of my being there.

And I smiled back.



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