At first there was only one and I could only see it if the light caught its reflection at just the right angle. The appearance of the first was followed by a second, and a third. I’m not sure why we call them grey—they're actually anything but grey. In my eyes, they're silver and shiny, and more luminous than all the other strands of hair.
I had a dream about these silver strands many moons ago before the first one had appeared. I was living in the jungle and dreamt to the sound of ocean waves one night that I had a crown of silver hair and wondered why I hadn’t noticed it before.
There are only a few now but I see more by the day. At first this came as a surprise, even a bit of a shock, as though I thought that I alone would be spared the aging process. After surprise, came feelings of slight worry and thoughts about my mortality.
I wondered briefly if I should start dying my hair. I even told my hair dresser last time I was in her chair that I didn’t want to look ‘half old.’ I realized that dying my hair would mean loosing all of the brown all at once. The creator, the most masterful of master artists, gifted this unique brown to me. My brown gets darker in the winter and lighter and redder in the summer. No—there’s no way I would dye my hair for that reason and others that are too numerous to list here.
I wondered if I would be found less attractive or be less desirable if I go visibly grey. Then I remembered that I actually find something sexy and elegant about this look on others. As much as I avoid the mainstream media, I still notice traces of its delusional youth worshipping in my thinking sometimes.
These past few years with the health challenges that I’ve had, I’ve been focusing a great deal of energy on my healing. It’s certainly not so that I can stay young forever. I want this human life—all of it.
I want to experience the profound gift of a whole human lifespan, grey hairs and all. I want to know what it’s like to grow old with someone and to see the beauty in them that transcends this flesh and bone. I want to know what it feels like to hold my grandchildren in my arms and tell them stories of days gone by. I want to see my friends birth their babies, their art, and their destinies. I want to have a garden and grow perennials that greet me in the spring like old friends year after year.
I wont be dying my hair. Not now anyways. I want to savor this slow appearance of silver amidst my strands. They are a symbol of how far I’ve come, of what I’ve lived through. They are a celebration that I'm still here. And like scars—seen in the right light, and by the right eyes—they are irreplaceable beauty marks and symbols of a real and intricate human journey.
Truth is, these silver strands are a privilege. They are a wild and radiant sign of what’s past and a marker of what is to come.
They are the seeds of a grandmother.
© 2014 Marie-Ève Bonneau