Ethereal – Julie Swope

In the winter of my eighteenth year I resisted the urge to allow my free spirit to fly. I was led by my elders who had taken care of me for many years, and I turned out solid. Not to brag, but I have a wonderfully shaped well rounded body. My eyes are wide and clearly show the conscience of my soul. I get compliments wherever I go.  Additionally I am very low maintenance, am a good performer; my parents told me I was economical. I have flirted and winked at
others. But that is as far as I have gone.

I celebrated my nineteenth birthday this Spring. I needed to make friends with that free spirit within me which I named Ethereal. She is a risk taker. She is salacious. She seeks adventure. She yearns to travel. Although she can play it safe, she has no desire. Ethereal seeks the road infrequently less traversed. She likes speed, which I have always feared to try. Although she is comfortable on her own, she is equally at ease with others. Ethereal exudes confidence. I am
willing to explore my new self.

I try speed and discover I like it; others join me. I like that too. From the wall flower of the Winter, I become a leader in the Spring. I decide to go topless and  am amazed that others join me. We get thumbs up from onlookers. Men applaud, while their women  grin, perhaps remembering when they were nineteen and carefree. I relish the breeze which flows through me. The sun smiles and radiates beams across my hot body. The scent of hyacinth fills the air. White butterflies flitter around me. Birds emit a symphony. I am happy.  I turn and turn and turn as I remain grounded with enchantment. Sparse white clouds shift to gray, and then spread to darkness. The sun is hiding. I feel the gentle coolness of the raindrops. I move to my left, and I am still. My owners cover me with my ragtop. I wait for the next warm sunny spring day when I can return to the wanton abandonment of going topless.

by Julie Swope, author of “Of Roots and Wings”

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