She rummaged through her purse for a moment.
"Here they are!"
She was bursting with excitement as she pulled the treasures out and placed one in my hand.
"This one is made from goat skins." She said.
The sandals were small enough to fit a child's foot. The soles were worn and the strap was left unfastened and had lost it's button long ago. She held the other pair with pride and a longing look in her eyes as her gaze turned back the hands of time to long days walking the sands in Niger,Africa. She had just returned from West Virginia where she and her family spent their final days with the family patriarch. He was celebrated with love and care and she was remembering those tender years of her childhood spent in the land that was most precious to her father.
When they were looking through his mementos and boxes of memories kept in closets and spaces unused in the daily scheme of life, she found 2 pairs of sandals wrapped up in a shower curtain. It hardly occurred to her that it was rather odd that they were packed in plastic curtains, because the thought of her daddy keeping her favorite sandals and bringing them all the way back to the states was precious.
"Can you put them on?" I asked incredulously.
I placed the sandal in her hand, anxious to see her slip her foot into the goat skins. She rolled her pants up and lifted her foot up to place it in the sandal. It was just like Cinderella slipping her foot into that glass slipper.
"It still fits!" I exclaimed.
And she just marveled at the sandals on her feet. Maybe she was remembering the hot earth under her feet, the dark night sky filled with bright stars lighting her path as she walked in her goat sandals, breathing in the night air, moments before she climbed up onto the roof to sleep under nets and a canopy of stars.
Cinderella is all grown up now, far away from Niger, but somehow I think she still awaits her Prince, the one who rides upon the great white horse.