February 25, 2002
This story comes to us from Duncan, BC. The author, Wendelynne Archer, attends the Reading and Writing Centre in Duncan. She is called Wende for short. She loves to do gardening of all sorts and that includes house plants as well. Wende is in the Reading and Writing Centre to upgrade and get her Grade 12 English and Grade 11 Math to get her Horticultural Technician Certificate and hopefully she can open up a business in about two or three years.
Who or what is me? When I look at
myself I see bones and fleshy gooey substances all wrapped up in a yellowish
epidermis. I have hair, 2 eyes, ears, arms and legs. My mouth makes noise but
some times it doesn't sound like me. So I begin to wonder who am I? I may be
known as Wende but who do I see? I think I see a stranger. She's a mystery to
me-an image in a mirror. She doesn't look how I think she should be. I see
someone who just looks very tired and sad. But I know that it is me as I stare
into a mirror. I see me as a person I like sometimes and someone I don't like.
I see some young points of myself but I also see some older points of myself. I
say to myself,
"What don't you like?" And I hear myself say,
"Too fat and too
short, baggy eyes, wrinkled fingers, bushy eyebrows and so on."
As I keep going on, she puts me in my place and says,
"Look, there are things I like about us. We love our kids, you have long brown hair that has not turned grey yet. You look younger to me
when you look in the mirror. I hear you have a sense of humour. I sense that
you have courage to do things when you want to. I see that when you are aware
of me and we work together to be one, then you have a lot more energy and you
don't feel so tired."
Who am I as I stare in the mirror? I see the labels that people put on me as they do to everyone in society: mother, student, wife, gardener, daughter, sister, aunt, housewife and pet owner. And as a mother, I am a doctor, philosopher, entertainer, chauffeur, sports trainer, chef and baker and laundry person.
"You have a milder and softer, more vibrant and wonderful side of you," returns the image.
"You like having walks with your husband on the beach or when he's away you go to the beach you stare at the water and think of him. You love rainbows, you love the wake of the
waves as they flow towards the beach. You love the smell of the earth after a
rainfall. You love the sound of water whether it's dripping or rushing. You
also like to be curled up on the floor in front of a fireplace, sharing a glass
of wine with your husband. Especially if you're listening to classical music.
Or bagpipes! And one of your nicest things you do is to go to the firepit with
your kids in the winter, all bundled up in your toques and mittens, and roast
'mushies' as a bed time snack."
"You love to walk on the mountain with the dog and your kids. You walked up Baldy Mountain once-when there was a roast in the oven! You'd taken water bottles and water for the dog but couldn't finish the walk because of the roast. Look at the creativity in you! Look at
the birdhouses and planters you make. You are very affectionate, especially
with Cinnamon and you love to cuddle, play and enjoy being with her."
So there is a lot more to me than how I look or what my labels perceive me to be.
"You are discovering yourself and allowing yourself to make choices to give us an opportunity to be happy."