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I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror

This first day of 2014

It was a crowded reflection – everyone showed up this year

I saw the hippie mom, adjusting her long earring,

The technical writer dashing to check her new hair color (blond),

The young mom holding Joe on her hip as she ran and grabbed a brush,

The shy teenager looking to see if the tape she put on her side curl overnight had left a mark on her cheek

The activist not really looking at the mirror and she grabbed a jacket from the closet.

As I focused on the old woman’s face, seeing all those lines that weren’t there last night, I saw a movement to my left

There she was – I hadn’t seen her for such a long time

She was about nine years old, sitting on her bed and reading a book.

Her bangs were neatly trimmed as she looked up from her pages

and saw me looking at her

I saw in her eyes that she believed the stories written by Ray Bradbury – why couldn’t dinosaurs live in the depths and hear a foghorn and think it was a friend calling to her?

She entered a contest that said she could be an artist if she drew this pirate that was on the back of matchbook cover – and she won – she really won (no matter that everyone won)

She believed in the goodness of people, the generosity of spirit and the hope that her world would continue in spite of the “under the desk” bomb drills at school.

As she smiled at me, those lines in my face dimmed, the others in the mirror folded into my reflection and I felt renewed.

She would be my muse in 2014, I decided.  She winked at me and was gone.

And I remained.