I am 52. It doesn’t seem possible some days. But when I look in the mirror closely (which of course at this point has to be a magnifying mirror but one can wax nostalgic even so), I see my blood coming to the surface. All over my body I see my veins coming to the surface. My face, my feet, my hands. This is what happens in Northern California where I live when you plant swamp trees like liquidambars in our semi-arid climate. The roots rise to the surface looking for water that they cannot find below, breaking through lawn after lawn.
In many ways. I would not go back to being 20. Or even 30. 40, yes, well maybe before anything started to ache. But I would sometimes wish for some of the juiciness of the young.
Being my age, and being a mother, and probably for other reasons not clear to me (maybe it happens to all of us stepping down the path to old age), I want to tell young women what I didn’t know. You are juicy. Believe me, I know what it’s like to scour your body for imperfections. I’ve had all those conversations, with myself, with my friends. And I can tell you with full certainty that when you are 52 you will look back with affection on your 20 and 30-year old selves and you will, no matter what your relationship was or is to physical beauty, you will remember you were juicy and you will just shake your head. And maybe sigh.
Even Persephone knew the god of the underworld craved the crack of a pomegranate seed between his darkened teeth.