woman on her way home from market was very troubled indeed. She walked with her head bowed and as she made her
way along the bone-colored cobbles her feet hardly left the pavement, such was the shuffle she had developed over
the years. The woman was not poor, nor was she old, nor was she sick. Her husband did not beat her, their house
was not in need of repair, nor was there anything that could give her cause to complain. Yet for all of these obvious
blessings the woman was not happy. She shuffled as she did every day, feeling that love had left her many years
ago and that all she could do was mourn the loss of it, for no longer did she feel the lightness in her heart she
had felt when she was young, nor the freedom to frolic or to laugh out loud.
She walked on in her sorrow and before long she was greeted by a young woman coming
the other way carrying an infant in her arms. The child's gurgling and gasping took the woman's attention and she
stopped to admire the baby who looked up at her with its wide eyes and broke into a beaming grin. The woman's heart
melted and a broad smile swept across her own face as she bent forward to take the little fellow's hand. The little
boy chuckled and giggled and the woman shook his little fingers and his little toes and his little body writhed
in joyous open expression. And in that moment, the woman was completely blissful and all the love she could wish
for filled her heart. But as she said goodbye to the young mother it was as though the magic of that moment left
her as quickly as it had come. She walked on and as she did so, her grieving returned.
By and by as she neared the place where she lived a small puppy happened across her path, wagging its little tail
from side to side, its head stooped as it nuzzled her ankles but its eyes rolled upwards to meet the woman's gaze.
It was adorable. Its shiny black fur looked soft and she bent down to scoop the little fellow into her arms, breaking
into a smile as the puppy leapt forward to lick her face. It whined contentedly when the woman shook its little
paws and as she did so its little puppy body writhed in joyous open expression. And in that moment, the woman was
completely blissful and all the love she could wish for filled her heart. But as she put the puppy down and walked
on her way, it was as though the wonder of that moment left her as quickly as it had come. And once again, her
The woman shuffled up the path to the front of her house and because she was looking
down, she noticed that the bulbs she had planted there were flowering. There was glorious bright yellow, rosy red
and passionate blue. The woman bent down to look more closely at these marvels of nature and as she did so her
own face became rosy and her mouth lapsed into a cheery smile. She lifted the little flower heads toward her and
smelled their perfume - and in that moment the woman was completely blissful and all the love she could wish for
filled her heart. She let the flower head fall free, its little stem springing to and fro in joyous open expression.
But as she unlocked her door and went inside, the delight of that moment left her as quickly as it had come.
Her home seemed a little warmer somehow. The sun was streaming in through the kitchen
window and it cast a square of light on the floor. For a moment the woman was captivated by the light. She took
a step forward, bathing her feet in the sun's golden warmth. And then another step. She looked around the room
as if searching for something that wasn't there - and then, something magical began to occur. She looked at the
tapestries on the wall. She'd spent hours on those, blending the colored threads together in wonderful and inspiring
pictures. She looked at the roses in the vase on the table. Her husband had brought them home for her only days
ago. She looked at the sketches she'd made of their children eating, bathing, playing. Their happiness, frozen
moments, mounted and framed and hanging on the wall. She looked at the bread she'd made this morning it still smelled
warm. She did so love to bake her own bread.
And finally she shuffled over to the fireplace and looked into the mirror, a gift
from her parents on her wedding day. 'A mirror', they said, 'so you may be reminded of how happy you are on this
day'. She seldom looked at the mirror, yet at this moment, she was drawn in by what she saw. The face that looked
back at her was not her own anguished countenance. It was pleasant, even happy, the smell of the bread, still soft
and fresh, had made the face glow. The lips parted and smiled and then, quite naturally the face began to laugh
And at that moment the woman was completely blissful and all the love that she
could wish for filled her heart. At that moment the woman knew that it had always been there, she had been mourning
what was not lost. And she set about cleaning the mirror so that it would sparkle and gleam in the sunlight and
so that she would be reminded of how happy she was on this day.