…and she was fair as is the rose in May – Geoffrey Chaucer

It won’t be an exaggeration if I say the journey of a woman from girlhood to womanhood is like a rose which has blossomed itself from a tiny bud to an open flower. The bud holds more of beauty than the plant itself because it is filled with innocence which only knows the world of fairies; but day by day it grows until it is full and round. One day you will see a thread of color, promise of the rose to be, peeping through the covering of green. Each morning you will see the thread of color widening until the bud bursts and the flower is revealed. You will look upon this bursting bud with admiration and delight, though yet you did not see the rose in its full size and beauty. You will have to wait until it is fully grown and fully open, till it has reached its maturity, before you could behold the complete flower. But in the opening blossom you had the beauty of the mature rose blended with the grace and charm of the bud.
Girlhood is the opening flower of womanhood. It has charms of its own. The wonderful change from the child to the woman, the marvelous blossoming of young, healthy girlhood, will ever be God’s great miracle in life’s garden. Like a half-open rose is girlhood.

“I used to think
I had the answers to everything,
But now I know
Life doesn’t always go my way, yeah…
Feels like I’m caught in the middle
That’s when I realize…
I’m not a girl,
Not yet a woman.” By Britney spears

This is what my journey has been. I slipped into girlhood naturally, and as naturally I am laying off girlish ways and settling into womanhood. But I still feel I am caught in the middle of both. My cheeks glow with embarrassment when I think of some of my girlish escapades, and become redder still when I think of some of the things I wanted to do but Mother would not permit. It’s a lovely phase, when one has to leave the lap of mother and grow to an independent woman. Tears and smiles always accompany you, but no doubt it is really difficult for me to define a woman in words like Wikipedia does, which says “a woman is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. However, the term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as “Women’s rights” and Womanhood is the period in a female’s life after she has transitioned from girlhood, at least physically, having passed the age of menarche”.

Childhood is a wonderful thing and a little girl in her mother’s arm, holds in her little body not only the possibility, but the sure promise of womanhood. It is woman who rocks the cradle of the world and holds the first affections of mankind. She possesses a power beyond that of a king on his throne. Childhood hold its promises, womanhood its fulfillments, and youth, those golden days of girlhood. We wonder when we see the tiny, green bud develop into a mature rose of brilliant tinge; how much more wonderful is the change from the immaturities of childhood to the beauty and grace of young womanhood! This miracle is performed continually, yet we never cease to wonder and admire our own sweetness, charm and beauty that are bestowed upon us. Magnificent changes take place in the physiology of a girl in this transition from girlhood to womanhood. Organs that have been dormant during childhood suddenly wake up into life and activity. She becomes, not merely a person, but a woman. She has a new view of life and takes a new course of action. It is as if she is in another world, so completely does she change.

I (voicing Indian woman) am caught in the cross fire of ideologies who seek to defend from the traditional vision of womanhood and an over burdened patriarchy, struggles to emancipate myself from the conformities. I am not condemning the traditional ideals but seek to reconcile them with modern aspirations.

Women price above rubies; that is, their worth is more than all the riches of this world.

This post was originally published on August 14, 2010

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