Mai, pronounced like the month is a woman from China. I’m unfamiliar with which town but I know it was one where she worked hard and played little.
She is a masseuse and does Mani/Pedi’s in Susan’s salon. Another woman from China. I have been going to this salon and sent many friends and family there for the past years now. In fact, my Mother will only see Mai when she comes in from Florida to visit.
Susan does my nails, Mai does my toes. Susan speaks very well English but Mai still struggles with it. It’s what connected me to her. Imagine being somewhere and not knowing the language? She must stay with her people here in America to really benefit from living here I would think.
The other day I ran in for a manicure before our vacation (which is today as I sit on the plane and write this) Susan was almost finished polishing my amazing turquoise sparkle polish when the school her son attends called and reminded her it was a half-day and Justin was waiting to be picked up!
I knew what was going on since she was talking on the phone in front of me but she had to explain to Mai what happened in their language so she asked if it would be okay if Mai finished my manicure, of course, I didn’t mind.
Mai came over to finish and that’s when I noticed her hands. Small, but not slender more on the normal/ medium size if you will. Strong but at the same time soft. As I watched her check every nail over and then apply the lotion to the backs of my hands, she would hum. I didn’t know the song or if it even was one, it was so soft and comforting. It was…pretty. She had a slight smile on her face, closed-lip so she could hum. She had such kindness in her face. It radiated from her.
As she began to massage my hands I noticed her forearms. Again. Medium build but Mai is only about five foot three, maybe 125 in weight so her build is not big but she solid. A tiny solid, does that make sense?
Her shirt sleeves were rolled up to just under her elbows and they showed that she had used those muscles to work. I wonder what she did back home in her country.
Fieldwork maybe? I don’t know much at all about their work or their farming capabilities. I picture her in a small village rice farming. If that is even such a thing. Her village is soft in color, warm greens, and browns with a blue sky.
As she hums and massages my hands I look up at her and she is looking me with her inviting smile. She has a story in her eyes.
I want to ask Susan where she can from and how long she has been in our country that she has now made hers but, I hesitate to do so because I want to see her as I picture her.
Humming happily, farming, or gardening watching the children play around her. Content and beautiful. I don’t know what it is about Mai that captures my heart but I am grateful God has put her on my path. She is not it to just polish my fingers and toes, she is on it to teach me something until that lesson presents itself, I will continue to admire her and hear the sweet soft sound of her humming.