Old Women

I am enraptured by the image of domestic bliss in chapter 13 of Uncle Tom's Cabin, which opens, after some descriptive detail, with this simple question:
So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why doesn't somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?
Below are a small collection of quotes from the chapter that inspire me:
Her hair, partially silvered by age, was parted smoothly back from a high placed forehead, on which time had written no inscription, except peace on earth, good will to men, and beneath shone a large pair of clear, honest, loveing brown eyes; you only needed to look straight into them, to feel that you saw to the bottom of a heart as good and true as ever throbbed in woman's bosom.
'Thee uses thyself only to learn how to love thy neighbor'. . .'To be sure. Isn't it what we are made for?'
"Mother" was up betimes, and surrounded by busy girls and boys. . .who all moved obediently to Rachel's gentle "Thee had better," or more gentle "Hadn't thee better?" in the work of getting breakfast. . . .
Everything went on so sociably, so quietly, so harmoniously, in the great kitchen,--it seemed so pleasant to every one to do just what they were doing, there was such an atmosphere of mutual confidence and good fellowship everywhere. . . .
Rachel never looked so truly and benignly happy as at the head of her table. There was so much motherliness and full-heartedness even in the way she passed a plate of cakes or poured a cup of coffee, that it seemed to put a spirit into the food and drink she offered.
This, indeed, was a home. . . .

The saying age before beauty rings more truly tonight, taken in a new light. True beauty, the beauty that comes by years lived in godly wisdom, comes age; it does not fade as the onset of inevitable age continues. I fervently desire to live in such a way that I become more beautiful with the passage of time, and, while I know I have much to learn, it comforts me to think that time is at least as much my friend as my enemy in the attempt.

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