I Want to Write That Sadness Away


My Pinterest boards include one for writing prompts, where I pinned this photo of a “weary young girl picking cotton, 1935, Arkansas.” I was pulled in by her face, her dress, the weather, the field.

The sadness.

The woman in the back is her mother.

And now, as I look at the photo again, I can’t stop thinking about the hat.

I want to write about her hat.

I imagine that her hat has a story. A good one. One that is going to teach me a unique thing or two about survival and love, courage and sacrifice, goodness and God.

A girl and her way out.

Oh, the story most likely has a sad beginning, but I also see determination in that face.

She will take us to joy.

My father was born in Arkansas. He was five years old when this photo was taken.

I’m going to step into that dress, put on that hat, take her sad look, and erase it with a story.

Because that’s what we storytellers do.

I wonder what she’ll let me name her. ∞

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

7 Comments Write a comment

  1. Poignant photograph, Darla, rich with possibilities and secret tales. I want to know this girl’s name, if she made the hat or it was a gift or something she found, and of course I want to know her entire story!


  2. You are such an inspiration Darla. Your words are so smooth and graceful; full of hope, courage, and love. Wonderful!


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