Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This morning as the blow dryer shot hot air at my upside-down head, I paused to admire the shiny silver strands primarily visible only upside down or when in an up-do. Those much-desired bits of grey refuse to come in on top. Or maybe it's friend D's fault for pulling out every single one she saw crop up framing my face or poking up on top of my head?! Slapping her hand every time this occurred eventually put the practice to rest, but all the lovely greys seemed to have fled down under by that time.
There are those grey hairs that have an oddly yellow tint, and in my youth I sincerely hoped not to have those crop up. Middle Child found it entirely odd when she noticed Mom's [finally] visible greys to have a Hallelujah chorus sung in response to her offhand comment that Mom had silver on the tree. Because it is, in fact the entirely desirable silver strands rather than the acceptable ivory or white, or the disagreeable yellow which is ever-so-slowly replacing the dark strands. It's not as if one may choose which of these shades will remain when the pigment in one's hair departs.
There is an undeniable bias in society against women aging. Men become "distinguished" while women have "fading beauty". Really, people?! Sharing some of these preferences for the elastic skin and large eyes of youth, it was not with pleasure that I remarked on the appearance of the dreaded parenthesis drawn alongside my nose and mouth. Or the first tiny crinkles outlining my eyes. Or... well, Gentle Reader no doubt gets the picture. Yet, this silly prejudice against the appearance of time mapping itself across the planes and angles of my face does not extend to grey hair.
At least not in this mind or to these eyes. This sign of aging has a beauty appreciated and welcomed. The light glinting off silver highlights brings a smile to this face. Walker once remarked in regard to this perhaps odd delight at finding another bit of grey that her colorist told her that silver is one color that cannot be recreated via chemical. Maybe the appeal is in the inability of man to imitate nature in this small thing? Or perhaps the perception of beauty that can only be won through experience, wisdom, and living that shine through the mask of age is what is desired?
The lines and furrows that brought a frown (until I realized that such expressions will, in fact, stick!) to this face, are entirely admired on the faces of others. At least, the really good ones that create interest and reveal years of life, laughter, sorrow, and every possible emotion one has experienced over time. As a child, I would sit on my grandmother's lap as she watched her "stories" tracing the creases on her beloved face framed by a salt-and-pepper sprinkle. That salt-and-pepper faded to grey as the lines increased in number and depth while her grandchildren outgrew her lap only to be replaced with proudly presented great grandchildren who lay cradled in the same arms staring up in sweet baby wonder at the further furrowed face. One can only hope to have such a life that it will one day result in the so-called ravages of time that are in themselves marks of beauty not spent, but well spent.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I have silver strands throughout my hair, but like my father, I get more in my EYEBROWS--wirey hairs that MUST be plucked! I don't mind them on my head, though. And I don't mind the wrinkles, either. The laugh lines and crow's feet mean I've been having a grand time!

Kathy said...

My mother never colored her hair. We lost her to cancer when she was only 54. Even at that age, her hair had only been partially grey.
Someday, I'd like to have a full head of silver hair... and bask in the beauty of it for the both of us.

Laura said...

Love this... beautiful you are, in so many ways.

dabshire4 said...

I allways think you are the most beautiful woman ever...