I met Lynette while browsing at the fruit truck on Main Street. She met my request for the photo-chat with a smile and a shrug and an armful of children. Her eyes were tired but her smile was quick and she engaged each question with frank honesty.
The first question (What beauty do you see in your own life?) was answered with wide-armed gesture towards her troupe tasting peppers and hugging her jeans. “This!” she replied. “Them! They are the beauty in my life.”
The second question (How do you think others see you?) was answered directly, honestly, and with that half-smile still playing from behind her half-tied hair. “Tired. I think people look at me and that’s what they think, that’s what they see.” She laughed. She was tired! She is tired! It was okay to just say it.
The third question continued in the same thread of laughing and direct openness (What is your role within your story?) “Which day?!” she laughed. “Um…if I’m honest? Oh man…. If I’m really honest, I’d have to say the martyr.”
Finally, the last question, (What is your byline? What’s your story in a sum?) was answered in the manner so many women respond when considering their own story: reality, challenge, and opportunity. “What it is?” she asked, “or what I would like it to be? I guess…it’s the story of love, sacrifice, and redemption.”
I snapped some photos, refrained from coveting her fabulous denim legs, thanked her kiddos, and covered my lens. It was just another simple conversation in our anything-but-simple community of women, here in Town.