Colorful Women

Lately on my morning run, I see two women of a certain age, strolling, with beautiful scarves wrapped around their heads, Caribbean style.

You see them like lights a half a mile away, their colors brushing the Park’s landscape like oil paint.

When we pass each other, we smile and nod, silently sharing the gifts of early morning…the coolness, the quiet, except for birdsong that plays softly above our heads.

After my run, I decide to clean my scarf drawer, no doubt inspired by them, though I don’t wear them the same way, I too own quite a few.

As I sort and refold, I come upon three my late friend Jackie had given me.

She was never without one around her neck, French style, teaching me at a tender age, it’s a nice touch to any outfit.

I think of the smiling women ambling down the hill, happy in their pressed, loose shifts allowing their bodies the freedom to be what they are without shame or restraint, simple sandals on their feet, big bags yet to be filled with the day’s bounty.

When I see them again, I give them each a scarf.

They’re surprised but pleased, accepting them with a girlish, giggly delight.

The next morning when I see them, they have them on glistening in the sunshine. One, a lemon yellow, the other, a blushing pink.

Their smiles could melt ice, matching mine, as we stand along Hamilton Heights preening in approval.

But when I get home, a wave of melancholia sweeps over me like a sudden T-storm, thinking of Jackie.

Was it wrong of me to give those scarves away?

I go and get the one that’s left, tying it loosely around my neck, the blue, red and green laced with white playing peekaboo in the mirror.

“All you need is one of anything that you love,” I hear Jackie say.

My heart settles, the gloom lifts, as I think of three women now, not two, honoring a woman who at 20, schooled me in simple style.

I’ve been wearing mine everyday around my neck, just the way she taught me.

A perfect way to remember my good friend I know is smiling at me from the ether, no doubt wearing hers.




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Beauty, Culture, Fashion, grace, humanity, humor, inspiration, nature, New York City, women, words, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Colorful Women

  1. I’m so glad your gloom lifted. You were so very generous to the two women, and they were thrilled. Since you’ve published the story, it will live on and be shared many times, blessing others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dale says:

    What a lovely thing to do, Susannah. I think Jackie would definitely approve of your urge to share with these two women. You saw them, you admired them and you let them know by giving such a beautiful gift. A random act of kindness is never a bad thing.


  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    My cousin and good friend (3 weeks older) taught me that it’s better to have a few good quality items than a lot of pieces that don’t hold up. She also bought me my first Barbie doll when they came out. I hadn’t heard of them yet. She pilfered couch money and coins from her father’s giant plastic soda bottle stash. She wished me a happy birthday in the morning (July 15th) and passed away unexpectedly that afternoon. Like you and I, she was a lover of books, which we shared back and forth. As I share her books with others now, I’ll think of Anne. Just as sharing Jackie’s scarves honors her memory..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely thing to do, Susannah. Your friend Jackie is very pleased I’m sure. No hint about your birthday until I read your reply to Skinny. Happy Birthday..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vasca says:

    Happy Birthday, Susannah! That was a sweet gifting to those two; they’ll always remember you. You’ll never know where those two scarves journey but I somehow think they’ll always have a special significance! I was once the secretary of a christian student center…loved working w/the students. One lonely, lost young Freshman girl grabbed my heart – I gave her something of mine one day which put some sunshine in her life. I ran into her 40 yrs later…she recognized me… hugged me…told me what I had done for her all those years ago helped change her life. Such a small thing can raise one way up. You did something wonderful with your scarves…Jackie must be so happy. A lovely experience and thanks for writing about it…sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kingmidget says:

    A wonderful memory and a wonderful way to remember your friend. Those scarves you gave to the two women will extend your memory much further.

    Couple of other things … when I run or hike or walk I’m the guy who says hello or good morning or nods my head to every person I pass. So many people seem surprised by it. I aim to chance that surprise.

    And … give me the names of a couple of good books you recommend. I know you’ve provided me some in earlier book exchanges, but I need them again. Also, you have books you’ve written. Which one should I start with? πŸ˜‰


    • If you go to my homepage, I always have a reading list. I loved the Poldark series by Winston Graham. Since the pandammit, I’ve read like a lunatic. A book I think I told you about was, Is Paris Burning. I loved it. It’s at the end of the German occupation in Paris, and how Hitler wanted his men to destroy it, but didn’t, waiting for us to come marching in. It kicks in right away. It’s not a new book, but it’s great.

      Because of you, I reread, Assassination Vacation, and loved it all over again. She has a book of essays I liked called, Take the Cannoli. Have you ever read any Anthony Bourdain? You like to cook. Kitchen Confidential is pretty great, but my favorite of his is Medium Raw. Nasty Bits is good too. He was a great writer. Smooth prose, irreverent, funny. I miss him a lot.

      God Midget, I can go on and on.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        And now that I asked you for your recommendations … again, I went and did it … again. I bought a couple of books on Amazon that aren’t on your list, but … a Butch Cassidy biography. Why? Because, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is and always will be one of my all time favorite movies and I thought it would be interesting.

        And, I got The King of Confidence — about a guy who was Mormon and after Joseph Smith’s murder, this guy formed his own little Mormon enclave, complete with polygamy, murder and all sorts of things.

        Both are the kinds of history I enjoy — quirky individuals who did things, and along the way hopefully, both books will also will reveal more about the general tone of life at the time.

        And then … now that I know you have a list on your blog, I will be back to that list in the near future.

        As much as I like to cook, I’ve never read Anthony Bourdain. So many people worship him, but I’ve always been turned off by what I perceived as his arrogance (and I could be completely wrong about that perception). I will give him a try at some point.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What you perceive as arrogance, I take as confidence. He had it tough in the beginning…an active addict for starters, working on his feet 15 hours a day in hot kitchens. He wasn’t always the Food King exploring the world. I actually have a little framed photo of him in my kitchen I put up after he died. I still mourn for Tony, and his wonderful, engaging writing.

        As far as reading what I read, ignore my suggestions. Reading after all, is very personal. I enjoy putting together that list twice a year, because I’m such a serial bibliophile hoping if nothing else, it will encourage others to pick up a book to their liking, like you just did.

        Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

        Your fellow Reader

        Liked by 1 person

    • PS I think it’s great you greet everybody. It’s a nice way to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorryless says:

    Scarves are a woman’s way of telling a man “You’re in the big leagues now, honey. So act like you belong here why dontcha?”

    And Jackie would have LOVED what you did, I just know it. You simple extended the branches of her life to others, and that’s just a beautiful thing. We need more of this inside times that give us so little.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. aFrankAngle says:

    I think Jackie had a great smile from your kind gesture! Meanwhile, I can see you in a scarf … after all, that’s very much your inner Audrey.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was a sweet gesture. I’m sure Jackie would have been pleased.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sharonbernackibooks says:

    Thank you Susannah, for sharing such a wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

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