The girls come in clusters. Three first and then larger numbers. And lastly, one or two latecomers. They have their smiles on — we are already familiar faces. We will still need a few icebreakers to make them feel at home. And get them into the rhythm. Eventually.
There are the really quiet ones, the ones whose voices you hardly hear, even when you prod. There are the bolder, more outspoken ones. Some are quite young; a few, much older than the rest of the group. They don't all like each other, but they all know each other. That's something, isn't it? Different cultures, languages, and beliefs gather under this one canopy. And we're something like a family, unusual yes, but still.
We speak and share, and we repeat. Are we getting through to them? Do they understand us? Oh but they do. Even the quiet ones are listening. They believe us when we say, there's a better world that they can be a part of, that they can make. I see it in the light behind their eyes. Something is burning and growing. Slowly, maybe, but surely.
We show up and they know to expect us. We try hard to keep our word. Those girls, they believe in us. As for us, we believe in them, but more importantly, we want them to believe in themselves.
We're the helpers, the guardians on the way to destiny. We're the voices for those who cannot speak, the sounding board for their truest needs.
I'm glad that they have us. The girl in me is satisfied that there is a woman she can trust. Mentoring is such a joy. These girls are such a joy, these women in the making, our women of tomorrow. Now they know what a woman looks like. Women lift each other up. They shine the light on one another's paths. They share knowledge. They equip, encourage, and educate. They are empowered and they empower. They are powerful and do not keep silent. They are the courageous in the face of fear.
I'm glad, little girl, that you know what a woman looks like. The world will be a much better place when you become her.