A Single Strand of Silver

This morning, as I was pulling my hair back into my signature pony tail, I found in my hand a single strand of perfectly intact silver hair.  Ok, you may call is gray, but isn’t silver so much more beautiful?

Why is this a thing?  Well, because I don’t really have silver hair yet.  Amazingly, given my age, I have very little silver.  A random stray here and there, sometimes covered by highlights but usually allowed to roam freely in my wildly thick long hair.  Yet this strand was perfect,  shimmering, intact and probably a good 14 inches long.  And for some reason it mesmerized me.

As with most of us in these crazy past few months, my hair has gone untouched by color or cut.  While I typically wear my hair long (shoulder length or a bit longer), the length of this hair made me stop and realize how much time had passed since we’ve done those “normal” things like haircuts.  It reminded me of how much our lives have changed in the past few months, and how we’ve learned to accommodate the changes.

But it was the shimmering silver that really captivated me.  It was beautiful.  For the first time, I really reflected upon being a woman who has long strands of silver hair,  who has reached this stage of life where the silver is as beautiful, if not more so, than the dark chestnut I’ve had since birth.  I pondered the transition that accompanies such silver strands and the life that has occurred during the growth of this solitary pearly lock.

It’s reported that hair grows an average of ½ inch per month.  That’s 6 inches per year.  This strand of perfectly glimmering silver had been with me for over 28 months. 

In the 28 months, I have had wild adventures with my dearest friend, traveling to NYC and packing in as many Broadway shows as possible between shopping, dining and romping through the markets.  I’ve created a new home with my husband on a spectacular piece of land which is my daily sanctuary and soul space.  I’ve had coffee and zoom happy hours with my beloved friends, and laughed so hard my belly still aches hours later.  I’ve had spectacularly long lunches and dinners with my soul sisters while we solve the world’s ills and dream up adventures we will pursue. I’ve spent countless nights drinking champagne in the gazebo with the love of my life, looking at the stars that sparkle in our semi-rural sky.  I’ve shared birthdays and holidays with my adult sons and the amazing girls they’ve invited to join our family.  I’ve worked hard, and lived my passion.

And yet, in those same months, I’ve also helped my dearest friend pass away from cancer.  I sat with her through her last breaths.  I’ve deepened my work with children in foster care, and had to face the realities and frailties of human beings, learning to not flinch or look away from what is raw and real.  I’ve watched the world shut down due to a virus, and turn upside down in it’s values.  I’ve held my sons through heart aches and growing pains, which, I’m learning, keep happening no matter how “grown” your kids may be. 

And so it is, these lives of ours.  A perfect tapestry of highs and lows, love, grief, fear, freedom and grace. 

The beauty, the pain, the realness of life, all lived during the growth of a single strand of silver. 

I’ll take the silver any day. It reminds me I’m truly living.

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