[Moondance; Celebrating Creative Women]
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[Sunrise at Dusk]

[Cheryl Nicholas]
[Click to see full sized image]
"A Woman In A Neverending Journey" by Beata Nadolska

If seniors are in their sunset years, are baby-boomers at dusk?
When one reaches fifty, and dusk, what is the appropriate behavior?
With one foot hesitantly stepping toward the horizon, I want to be a cute young chick.
Or, at the very least, a beautiful and sensuous woman.

Experience has taught me that to become a particular thing, one must take on its essence.
With personal ads, exercise, flowing gauze and a shiny black sports car, I step into the essence of the vixen.

At dusk, should I rather be a matron? Can the substance of a handsome, round matron and that of a beautiful, sensuous woman coexist? Perhaps, but I won't know until I have bathed in the essence of both.
First immersed in one, then in the other.

I look in the mirror with the distant eye of a misty matriarch. I can see her with
that envelope of tissue that wraps its motherly apron around the center point of grandmas.
Grandmas wear gauze skirts, but are they sensuous?
Sensuous grandmas.

Gauze skirt flowing, hair softly curled, windswept. A purple silk shirt drapes
over the skirt, dissolving the illusion of a matronly middle.
The soft lights whisper, "sensuous."

Fluorescent light and a full length mirror slap away the illusion.
Thin hair where thick, long wavy hair resided.
A pear with legs dressed in gauze.
Do pears wear gauze? Can pears be sensuous?

My hands feel the life as they rest upon the warm belly of a glowing young
pregnant girl. The stirring I feel is not that of a yearning childless mother.
It is a warm, soft, protective feeling. Matronly. Grand-matronly.
Throw my makeup in the trash and let the gray dawn?

In the distance the deep rumble. The Harley Davidson. The biker babe in me
mounts that powerful piece of machinery and we roar up the mountain,
laughing at the wind, drinking in the mountain.

Boots, blue jeans and leather.
The sexy biker babe.
Sexy, biker babe grandma.

I gaze at the test results--the hormones--and I go cold.
Postmenopausal, they report.
Postmenopausal and sensual. An oxymoron?

I reject the essence of postmenopausal. I am not ready.
At forty eight, I've only just begun.
Naked, I appraise the me in the mirror.
Not bad if one accepts being victimized by gravity.

In long, flowing white gauze, I glide.
In blue jeans, leather jacket and three inch stacked heels, I strut.
Do grandmas glide and strut?

Shifting gears, listening to funk and sailing up the mountain.
Matron in the mountains.
I catch a couple second looks. I squirm and grin.
Sexy blonde in a black sports car.

"I look over at my eighteen-year-old daughter.
"Yes, sweetie?" I answer through the beat of the music.
"I'm pregnant."
I retrieve my hormone and calcium supplements.


Cheryl Nicholas is a registered nurse, freelance author and editor. She has a Bachelor's of Science from Southeastern Louisiana University and majored in psychiatric social work at the University of Washington. She lives in a town nestled in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains in Western Washington. She writes nonfiction essays and stories depicting life's challenges as opportunities for growth.

E-mail Cheryl Nicholas at


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