I had one of those moments today. A life changing and defining moment when something small happens, and you know for sure your life will never be the same again. I stood preening before the mirror as my husband impatiently hooted for us to get going, late as we already were for church. For some reason, no matter how early we wake up we can never make it in time for church. But I digress, that is a story for another day.
So there I am combing my hair, admiring the newly treated fullness and it’s blackness and suddenly I saw something glittering in the black depths. I peered frantically into the mirror, hoping to see where the reflection was coming from. I turned my head left and right and failed to spot the source of the light. Wondering, I turned to stare out of the window to the right and wham! There it was again. That elusive glitter. I grabbed the front of my head and straining to look upwards I suddenly spotted IT! And for one minute, honestly my heart ground to a momentary halt. It was, gasp! My first white hair!
I looked more closely hoping that my bespectacled eyes for once were wrong, but there was no denying it. I had a silver strand of hair. One that seemed to catch the morning sun and give off wonderful golden lights. One that shyly peeked from all the strands of black, but a silver hair all the same. I looked at it closely and saw that at the very top it was silver and as it went down to the root, it was golden and tapered off to black. For some reason that stopped me in my tracks.
As I thought about it and reflected on what the appearance of this strand meant, I was struck by several things. Growing up and indeed growing older is like that strand of hair. When you are young we spend all our time wishing we were older. We long to do grown up things like wear high heels, lipstick and nail polish and choose our own clothes. We spend so much time looking forward to growing up, pretending to be grown up and finally being reluctantly tugged in to adulthood, that we miss the joys of being young.
Looking into that mirror I was struck by the reality that my very youthful days were over. I was now heading to that terrifying stage of life called middle age. My body it seems had a more accurate clock than my head and heart, as it I was beginning to bear the evidence. From waistlines that accumulate inches effortlessly, to bones that creak a tad more ominously whenever I rise too suddenly or do more than I should. I see the age catching up with me when the children nursed at my breast, now stand next to me and we are almost eye to eye and sigh. They are a growing reminder that there is a circle of life and we all go through this circle.
Happily, sadly, victoriously, painfully, joyfully and sometimes desperately barely hanging on. Looking at that strand of silver, I am glad that we do not look like what we have been through. I celebrate the journey I have been through knowing at every stage I have enjoyed my journey to the fullest. As I close the door to my life before the first white hair I make the choice to wear always wear my new found color as a testimony of a life well lived.