Many years later I moved to Davis Square with a couple of roommates. Walking the bike path back to our new place I looked up and there it was! My painting! A little faded, tired perhaps, but there and enthralling as ever. I paused to study the women - the different shapes of their bodies, the signs of their relationships & their children, their vocations, and their bright spirits. They stood together in one beaming company, as bold and feminine as when I'd first seen them. I understood the painting a little more as a young woman than I did as a child. Yes, I was welcome there. I was one of those figures. I shared in all their joy, all their effort, and all their great worth. It was a value that often went unseen, even to me in my own life, yet up on the wall it called out brightly to any who'd see it.
I lived in Davis Square for a couple of years, walking the bike path daily. While I didn't linger over the mural every time I passed it sometimes it caught my eye and assured me that I was in good company. It reminded me of my childhood awed delight and encouraged me as I cultivated the insight that comes with experience in a woman's life.
Today I live in another city, 3000 miles away; I'm startled and sad to learn that the mural has been removed. These women were alive for me, watching me grow from a girl into a woman, offering me real joy, courage, and vision along the way. So I'm glad I had the sense to photograph it before I moved. I hope the snapshot issues some of the spirit and energy that the original gave to me.
Jenni Lincoln, 2009
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