I’ve just been sitting in the living room, on the overstuffed chair by the west-facing windows. The weather has been doing that in-between-seasons thing, one day warm and sunny, the next rainy, the next cold. Today is sleepy rainy sweet, in an end-of-the-week Friday kind of way.
I was looking at my hair. It’s long enough to come over my shoulder and down the front of my chest a few inches.
All my life, I had long hair. I was the girl with the long hair—longer than anyone else’s. It was wavy and coppery golden and it made me special (in my own mind). A decade ago, I cut it off, short. It was a bold act, announcing a big change — though it didn’t feel like a big deal, just like what needed to happen at the time. After several years with shorter hair, I decided to grow it long again, but it didn’t grow back the same. Now it’s not as shiny or silky. It can easily look witchy if I don’t put conditioner and stuff on it. And each year, more grey appears.
So I was looking at my hair. The bit draping down my chest is still coppery golden. I was just looking at it, knowing now in my wisdom of age, that the color of my hair is temporary. It is going grey and at some point, there will be no coppery golden left. The color of my hair of my youth will be gone, forever. I am right in that in-between place of still having what I know will pass.
But at this moment, it is here. So can I appreciate it more?
I remember feeling that with my father. I would be in conversation with him, in his presence, and it occurred to me that someday, he would be dead. How would I feel then? Could I appreciate him more in that moment, I wondered?
To be honest, I don’t know if I could’ve appreciated him more. He was who he was and we had the relationship we had, and then he went through the process of dying and was no longer. I remember trying to appreciate him more as I watched him speak, sitting at his kitchen table, watching his hands move, looking at the fine lines of his nose and chin, letting the sound of his voice echo around in my ears. I could not say I was able to feel more appreciation, though I really wanted to.
What I did do in that moment was become fully conscious of how temporary my time with him was. And in that awareness, I had an acute sense of that moment itself. The moment was vivid. I can recall it as if it were yesterday.
And just now, looking . . . really looking and seeing my coppery, golden (albeit a bit dry) hair, I perhaps felt a little sad at realizing the color of my hair is temporary. But there is nothing I can do about it. (And don’t say ‘color your hair!' — you know what I mean.)
All things pass. I may have appreciated the color of my hair more . . . for a split second. But I don’t know if appreciating my hair more right now is the point. Perhaps the point is that by being suddenly fully aware of the color of my hair, that I have that color still, I became more alive. More alive just then, in the in-between seasons time in my living room on a rainy Friday afternoon.