From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

September 29

My work in developing a rural pottery project in Nicaragua led me up the steep, rocky trail to Los Chaguites, a brittle, sun-baked settlement usually labeled “inaccessible.” It was on my first trip that I met Doña Pilar and her family. When I pulled out my camera to photograph several pieces of pottery, they insisted the photo would be much nicer with people in it. I willingly obliged.

A few weeks later, I returned to conduct a pottery workshop. Doña Pilar came out to greet me. “Y la foto?” she asked hopefully. I pulled the photograph from my backpack.

After a long lapse of silence, Doña Pilar pointed to a short, gray-haired grandmotherly woman and asked timidly, “Is this me?”

I realized that Doña Pilar clearly had no idea what she looked like. When I asked if she had ever owned a mirror, she said yes, but it had broken.“I know who I am inside,” she replied, “and that’s what I see every day.”

Jane E. Hall

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