You can trace the lines on her face to the years of hardship she has endured. Day after day, harvesting and sorting beans to sell in order to provide what little she can for her family. In the early morning she sits below a sparcely-leaved tree, protecting herself from the already blazing sun. It's her spot, hardly comfortable but its familiarity somehow comforting.
On every trip I've taken to Phaeton, I have wanted to take her picture. But in Haiti, because of Voodoo, there are many adults who believe that by taking their photo you can steal their soul. Other Haitians won't allow it because of the vast amount of "good-intentioned people" who come to Haiti, take photos of their living conditions and make promises to bring help, but then never do. Something in me that day felt bold and I took a chance. I'm glad I did.
There is something about her presence that completely captivated me. Quiet and focused, yet her eyes soft and full of life. A couple of little ones would often interrupt her diligent work by sitting on her lap and she never once seemed bothered or discontent with their continuous disruptions.
By the end of our trip she had made her way to where our group would gather at Pastor Lucner's house. We had conjured up some good 'ol fashioned competition and were having races against each other. She laughed heartily when we asked her to join in the fun.
There are just times in this season of my life where I am taken back by something seemingly ordinary that appears extraordinary to something deep in my soul. And when I took the time to stop and gaze upon her aging face I saw grace, dignity and peace; all things I can only hope to aquire someday.