Bathed in warm sunlight, Peta moves in slow motion through the park, like her every move is thought out first, choreographed to finest detail. Her smile, the slight turn of her head, the way she crosses her right leg in front of her left and then lets her body slump slightly forward. All the while she’s laughing and then shyly, she stares down at the ground. There is a truth captured in her eyes that convey a quiet self awareness, that she has sensed the first loss of freedom that happens to young girls when they reach her age. The real freedom to move unobserved through life.
Little by little she had become aware, of glances in her direction. The shy looks from the boys at school, the sideways looks from men in the street and her annoying cousin Billy’s, relentless torments. For now though, she is playing ball with her little sister and her smile is delicate, still clinging to the sweet innocence of childhood while she hovers on the precipice of womanhood.
At fifteen Peta is not the cover girl stunner, her face radiates a natural youthful beauty in her flawless complexion. Her cheeks are flushed with the freshness of autumn, her creamy unblemished skin gleams, topped with a slight shake of freckles and from beneath her lustrous eyelashes, flash eyes of deep blue. Her long brown hair is straight, pulled back into a ponytail that slaps gently across her face as she runs. She’s like a gazelle, lithe and graceful with long slender limbs and for this moment, is free.
Wearing a white cotton top and blue denim shorts, all one need do is add a flower behind her ear and she could be the face of the sixties. Her face radiates love, especially for her younger sister, as she runs towards her and scoops her up in her arms. Peta twirls her around, lets her fall to the ground then quickly picks up the ball and runs away. Her sister, who is about seven, runs giggling behind her sister.
Here playing in the park with the sun splintering through the trees, the scene plays out like a dated clip from an old home movie, screened against a lounge room wall. Nature gives her a stage with a back drop of sparkling water on which she can grow. Peta has already conquered the awkwardness of her age. Her true beauty lies in her confidence that already shines through her shy smile. She is an elegant swan, gliding through the water leaving diamonds in her wake knowing a richer gem awaits somewhere in her future.