There's no telling what a person will turn up when she sets out to organize drawers, files and boxes! This is a school picture of me at age 15, a sophomore in high school. I thought I'd print it here because I think it bears quite a resemblance to the photo on the top right side of my blog.
Oh, sure, I didn't have big bags under my eyes back then, I had only one chin, and I was a whole lot slimmer (skinny, actually), but I think the inner essence of "me-ness" is the same. For sure, I have come full circle to almost the same hairdo. There's not much a person can do with absolutely straight, fine, thick hair and a darned cowlick!
I still have the same facial expression too. People who don't like me would call it a smirk; people who like me (or myself) would call it an enigmatic, Mona Lisa smile.
I'd like to think that the 15-year old Julie is still inside this 58-year old. I'm still the avid reader, I still love to learn, I am still the unquenchable romantic. I still love the songs of the British Invasion. I still love nature, the country, dogs and family, birds and flowers.
The first time I saw the formal Sears portrait of my infant niece, Kelsey, the thought instantly came to my mind that "this is an old soul." There was just something in her eyes that told me so. And at 16 now, she is a wise young woman.
I think I am a young soul, still "trailing clouds of innocence", as Wordsworth said of children, but perhaps not so young as my soul at 15. I'm not so painfully shy, or so terribly sensitive. I have also definitely become tougher, though it may not show on the outside. I'm not a naive, inexperienced young thing anymore, but then what woman is? One certainly would not want to be arrested at that stage of development forever. I had not yet had my first kiss at age16, from Jim Peterson after a church group hayride.
People have debated from time immemorial about what the soul is, and where the soul resides. Where is my soul? I think it rather abides with me, rather than resides in me. One quote I read that has stayed with me for a long time is that we are not bodies with souls, we are souls that happen to have bodies.
Did I exist as a soul without a body before Julie was born? Will I go on as a soul when Julie's body is gone? I don't know. I don't know when the soul is born or dies; I'd like to think it never dies. But I do believe that my soul was with me in the beginning, and made - and makes - me what I am. My soul has created the expression on my face, the particular light in my eyes, the words I speak, the words I write, the thoughts I think. And I think I like my soul.