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    Contest Winners - The Age of Elegance - RUNNER UP

    Cynthia A. Lovely is a freelance writer and musician. She lives with her husband Dwayne, in an old farmhouse in upstate New York. Her articles have been published in Romantic Homes, Reflections, Cross and Quill, The Interpreter and the Pentecostal Herald. She currently writes on assignment for The Connection, a United Methodist periodical. 

    The Age of Elegance - RUNNER UP

                The “age of elegance” is a delightful expression that casts a kindly aura upon growing older. In defining a maturing woman it brings to mind a gracious lady, confident and comfortable in her own skin. Through my own aging process I am developing a clearer understanding of the beauty of individuality. And with that knowledge there is a tremendous boost of self-esteem. My goal is to become that gracious lady, embracing this rite of passage in my life.

    So often our society dictates how we should look, how much we should weigh and what fashions we should follow. I am learning to search out my own style and to be brave enough to step outside the crowd. In a world filled with jean-clad legs, I choose to wear feminine flowing skirts. My weight needs to be at a place where I am healthy and fit and taking care of my own body. I can cheerfully accept a size 12 and not bemoan the fact that I don’t resemble a model on the latest magazine cover. I have learned to appreciate the choices others make but I am free to find my own way through the maze. There is such liberty in learning how to be your self. This is one of the lessons of this age of elegance.

    I find myself pondering deeper thoughts of my existence. I marvel at the fact that my fingerprint is unique. If my iris is scanned, no one else will be able to match that pattern. In a world filled with billions of people that is an awesome revelation. Truly I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) With this building of confidence I move on to new experiences and past old fears of failure.

    I am exploring new paths in education. I am traveling more and enjoying new hobbies. I have ventured out into a different career path, excited about re-discovering a passion for writing.

    Along with the maturity of years comes the realization that it is not “all about me.” I want to reach out to others in my circle of friends, family and co-workers. My desire is to be sensitive to the needs around me and to influence others in a positive way. I want to be a true friend, sharing the knowledge that each person is special and unique. I find pleasure in helping others discover their talents and abilities and their own sense of self-worth. 

    Above all, this age of elegance has taught me to be able to laugh; at myself, at others, at the impossible situations of life. I search for joy in the darkest moments and cherish the bittersweet memories of love and loss. I am learning and growing into the woman that I was created to be. The age of elegance….I welcome it. 

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